Academic Leadership Journal


Although Texas schools are under the pedagogical constraints of both the Texas Assessment of Knowledge Skills (TAKS) and the national No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, it is morally incumbent upon Texas legislators and educators to listen to students’ voices to engage them with the “teaching and learning” technical core of schools (Hoy & Miskel, 2000, p. 75). Ironically, while Texas teacher certification standards mandate student-centered pedagogical practices, the current state and national pressure of a high-stakes accountability climate often lead to a teacher-centered pedagogy in which student voices are routinely excluded from the classroom (Kordalewski, 1999). This atmosphere leads to inauthentic instructional practices that are removed from students’ own experiences (McNeil & Valenzuela, 1998), which in turn lead to a perceived lack of student self-efficacy that is directly linked to disengagement from school (Bandura, 1993).