ERIC Number: ED334205
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Quality of Standard Tests. Final Report. School Reform Assessment Project. Final Deliverable--October 1989.
Linn, Robert L.; And Others
Norm-referenced test results reported by states and districts were studied along with factors related to those scores to document the degree to which "above average" achievement test results are being presented. Part of the stimulus for the present report came from the study by J. J. Cannell and the community group Friends of Education. A letter and data collection form were mailed to directors of testing in all states to obtain test score information. These directors were then interviewed by telephone for further information about testing. A stratified random sample of 175 school districts was surveyed by mail, with telephone interviews conducted with a subsample. Weighted estimates from the district sample suggested that 57% of students in grades 1 through 6 obtained scores above the national median on norm-referenced reading tests, and 62% was the corresponding figure for mathematics tests. Corresponding figures for grades 7 through 12 were lower, but still over 50%. State results were compatible with district estimates, providing some support for the general finding of Cannell's group that for elementary school grades almost all states and most of the districts are reporting norm-referenced achievement test results that are above the national median. Possible explanations and suggestions for test use are reviewed. Seven tables, 33 figures, and a 39-item list of references are included. Seven appendices present forms used in the study and descriptive data. (SLD)
Descriptors: Achievement Gains, Achievement Tests, Educational Assessment, Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Grade Inflation, Mathematics Tests, Norm Referenced Tests, Quality Control, Reading Tests, School Districts, Scoring, Standardized Tests, State Norms, State Officials, State Programs, State Surveys, Test Use, Testing Problems, Testing Programs
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires; Collected Works - General
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, Los Angeles, CA.
Identifiers: Lake Wobegon Phenomenon; Teaching to the Test
Note: Paper prepared in collaboration with the University of Colorado; NORC, University of Chicago; and Arizona State University.