Effects of Interim Assessments on the Achievement Gap: Evidence from an ExperimentReport as inadecuate




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Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness

Motivated by the passage of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, all states operate accountability systems that measure and report school and student performance annually. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of interim assessments on the achievement gap. The authors examine the impact of interim assessments throughout the distribution of student achievement with a focus on the lower tail of the achievement distribution. Specifically, they investigated the effects of two interim assessment programs (i.e., "mCLASS" and "Acuity") on mathematics and reading achievement for high- median- and low-achievers. They use data from a large-scale experiment conducted in the state of Indiana in the 2009-2010 school year. Quantile regression is used to analyze student data. The study was a large-scale experiment conducted in Indiana during the 2009-2010 academic year and included K-8 public schools that had volunteered to participate in the intervention in the spring of 2009. From a stratified (by school urbanicity) pool of 116 schools the authors randomly selected 70 schools. Ten of the 70 schools had used one or both assessment programs the prior year and were excluded from the pool. Two other schools closed and another school did not provide any student data. Thus, the final sample included 57 schools, 35 in treatment and 22 in control condition. Overall, nearly 20,000 students participated in the study during the 2009-2010 school year. The design was a two-level cluster randomized design. Students were nested within schools, and schools were nested within treatment and control conditions. Schools were randomly assigned to a treatment (interim assessment) or a control condition. The schools in the treatment condition received "mCLASS" and "Acuity", and the training associated with each program. The control schools operated under business-as-usual conditions. Overall, the findings suggest that the treatment effect was positive, but not consistently significant across all grades. Significant treatment estimates were observed in the grade 3-8 analysis in mathematics. The estimates were typically larger for low-achievers and in some cases significant. These results are consistent in terms of the sign of the effect (i.e., positive), but inconsistent in terms of statistical significance. The authors observed positive, statistically significant effects for grades 3-8 especially in mathematics. It seems that "Acuity" affected mathematics and reading achievement positively and in some instances considerably in grades 3-6.

Descriptors: Accountability, Academic Achievement, Achievement Gap, Mathematics Achievement, Reading Achievement, Regression (Statistics), School Closing, School Effectiveness, Intervention, Control Groups, Statistical Significance, Program Descriptions, Program Effectiveness, Achievement Tests, Elementary School Students, Middle School Students

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Author: Konstantopoulos, Spyros; Li, Wei; Miller, Shazia; van der Ploeg, Arie

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=1189&id=ED562166







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