ERIC Number: ED433976
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Reference Count: N/A
A Spatial Analysis of Contextual Effects on Educational Accountability in Kentucky.
Pitts, Timothy C.; Reeves, Edward B.
A cornerstone of the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990 was the creation of a high-stakes performance assessment program called the Kentucky Instructional Results Information System (KIRIS). KIRIS test results were the basis for granting monetary rewards to schools and school districts where student test performance improved significantly and for levying sanctions where student performance declined. KIRIS was based on the belief that school districts and educators should be held accountable regardless of the advantaged or disadvantaged circumstances of their communities. In contrast, recent research suggests that socioeconomic factors associated with geographic location may strongly influence on school system performance and, therefore, on test results. Using data from 176 Kentucky school districts, this paper analyzes the spatial distribution of socioeconomic factors and educational outcomes. Data include 1992-96 mean accountability scores, which reflect district performance at grades 4, 8, and 12; rural-urban location; median household income; percentage of students on free or reduced-cost lunch; teen birth rate; independent versus county school district; per-student spending; and enrollment. Accountability scores were strongly and negatively influenced by percentage of free/reduced lunch and were positively influenced by rurality. Socioeconomic factors had a spatial distribution that was spatially autocorrelated; these factors increased in importance at higher grade levels. Policy recommendations are offered. (Contains 15 references.) (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kentucky