ERIC Number: ED406452
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
What State Tests Test.
McGee, Glenn W.
What the Illinois Goal Assessment Program (IGAP) test actually tests and the consequences of these tests for funding decisions were studied with a random sample of 100 school districts in the Cook County suburbs of Chicago. Eighth-grade IGAP scores for reading were obtained from the state report card, a document prepared by each school district under legislative mandate. Per pupil expenditure, attendance rate, mobility rate, average teacher salary, percentage of low income students, and the ratio of the number of students in the district to the number of teachers in the district were studied for significant correlations. Partial correlations were then used to isolate particular relationships, and analysis of variance was used to provide information for explaining variations in scores. Results support the conclusion that the statewide test in Illinois, the IGAP, measures more than student achievement. The bell-shaped curve of eighth-grade reading scores and the high and highly significant intercorrelations among all IGAP test results strongly imply the IGAP is a test of ability. Multiple regression shows that nearly three-fourths of the variation on IGAP test scores is due to context factors and not academic achievement. As the IGAP test exists, it is to a large measure a stronger indicator of poverty and mobility rate than of achievement. To a lesser extent, it is an indicator of the ratio of students to teachers, attendance rates, and cost variables. Implications for policy formation are discussed. An appendix presents two examples of test content--sixth and eighth grade reading tests--and associated questions. (Contains 12 tables and 20 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Ability, Achievement Tests, Analysis of Variance, Attendance, Context Effect, Correlation, Elementary Secondary Education, Expenditure per Student, Low Income Groups, Policy Formation, Socioeconomic Status, State Programs, Student Mobility, Suburban Schools, Teacher Salaries, Teacher Student Ratio, Test Construction, Test Content, Test Results, Test Use, Testing Programs
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois