ERIC Number: ED261066
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
The Average Achievement Test Score: A Demagogue Statistic.
Ligon, Glynn; Wilkinson, David
A variety of methods are used by the Austin (Texas) Independent School District to report the results of student achievement testing. These techniques were developed to alleviate some of the problems that occurred previously: (1) a school's average score represents very few of its students because large numbers of students score very high or very low; (2) a median score masks achievement gains; or (3) a total group's average declines while all subgroups' averages rise. Case studies illustrate these problems. Numerous ways to report achievement data have been found: (1) means and medians; (2) number of students scoring above and below certain percentiles; (3) analysis of items correct (related to specific skills) by individuals , classes, schools, and district; and (4) results for subgroups of sex, ethnicity, classroom, school, grade, special education students, and limited English speakers. Scores may be compared to the national norm, the state, other similar districts, surrounding suburban districts, or the same district in previous years. Data of interest to the public include National Merit Scholarship winners, honor roll members, high school graduates meeting minimum competency requirements, and students who will attend college. Results may also be used to illustrate further educational needs. (GDC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Austin Independent School District, TX. Office of Research and Evaluation.