This study is set in an elementary school located in a rural, Appalachian area and considers the reasons that teachers attribute to student success on state writing assessments as well as to what reasons they attribute their students’ lack of success in moving beyond an average ranking. In considering these reasons, patterns emerge in the data that prove intriguing. For example, one pattern indicates that teachers link the lack of student success to aspects beyond their control. These aspects include student home life, socioeconomic levels, and parental attitudes toward school. The second emerging pattern shows that teachers couple their own teaching practices with student achievement. Such indications have great implications for future studies in that the perceptions of teachers may be key in utilizing the results of standardized assessments.

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