With the enactment of the NCLB mandates, emphasis on high-stakes testing became more prevalent than ever. Some argue that high-stakes tests can be a driving force behind fundamental change in schools. Whether or not this type of test-driven change leads to school improvement is an empirical question. What we do know is that high-stake testing can affect teachers’ disposition of and their dedication to the teaching profession if what they accomplish at school is measured only in test scores. Drawing on data collected over the course of three academic years, this case study examines the extent to which the institutional pressure resulting from NCLB affected two urban teachers’ teaching practices. To this end, this study analyzes various positions and decisions taken by these teachers to determine to in what way they succumbed to and/or resisted the institutional pressure of standardized tests, and the implication this has for student learning.

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