ERIC Number: ED335773
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Jun-3
Reference Count: 0
Testing and School Improvement. PEPS Policy Paper Series Number 9.
Cooley, William W.
The Test of Essential Learning and Literacy Skills (TELLS) has been administered to all Pennsylvania students in grades 3, 5, and 8 since 1985. An analysis of results from the 1,505 public elementary schools that served both third and fifth graders between 1986 and 1990 show that in 150 of these schools more than 50 percent of the students scored below the minimum skill level. The figures also indicated that no matter for what grades or years scores are analyzed, schools tend to be consistent in their performance ranking. The achievement differences among schools are almost completely predictable from the socioeconomic status (SES) indicators of the families being served by them. Simple solutions for raising the basic skill level of students from homes with low SES, such as raising teacher salaries or reducing pupil/teacher ratios, do not look promising. Higher salaries can increase applicant pool quality but will not necessarily raise teaching staff quality. Smaller classes can be helpful if instruction is designed to take advantage of it. Proposals for improvement include investing in preschool experiences that increase school readiness skills. Four tables illustrate the data analysis. (8 references) (EJS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Pittsburgh Univ., PA. Learning Research and Development Center.
Identifiers: Pennsylvania; Test of Essential Learning and Literacy Skills