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ERIC Number: EJ809441
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1934-6875
Using Instructional Sensitivity and Instructional Opportunities to Interpret Students' Mathematics Performance
Ing, Marsha
Journal of Educational Research & Policy Studies, v8 n1 p23-43 Spr 2008
Within the context of a mathematics reform effort to implement algebra in elementary schools, there is a pressure to provide results in the form of student achievement scores. However, widely-used measures of student achievement may be unrelated to the ideas and instructional practices encouraged by the reform effort. The inappropriate use of student achievement scores often leads to inaccurate inferences about the quality of instruction. This study explores the validity of inferences about instructional quality using two measures of mathematics achievement: a measure of algebraic reasoning designed to closely relate to instructional activities and a measure of grade-level specific California content standards. This exploration includes multiple measures of classroom instruction to evaluate the instructional sensitivity of multiple measures of math achievement and applies an analytic method that makes it possible to relate student-level outcomes to teacher-level measures of instruction. Findings suggest that particular items measuring equality and relational thinking from the measure of algebraic reasoning were sensitive to instruction. The ability of these measures to determine the impact of instruction on student performance depends on the variables the define students' opportunities to learn and the characteristics of the student assessment items. These factors should be considered when evaluating the relationship between instructional quality and student performance. Instructional sensitivity provides a framework to interpret student performance by creating a link between instructional opportunities and performance on particular assessment items. (Contains 2 tables and 1 figure.)
National Office for Research on Measurement and Evaluation Systems. University of Arkansas, 346 North West Avenue, 302 WAAX, Fayetteville, AR 72701. Tel: 479-575-5593; Fax: 479-575-5185; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California