Date of Award

Summer 6-9-2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Executive Ed.D. in Education Leadership Management and Policy

Department

Education Leadership, Management and Policy

Advisor

Christopher Tienken, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Anthony Colella, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Christine Siegel, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Albert Sackey, Jr. Ed.D.

Keywords

high-stakes-testing, school reform, trauma, Ecological Systems Theory, human family capital, community social capital

Abstract

This study used a correlational, explanatory, longitudinal design with quantitative methods to predict the percentage of students who will score at or above Goal. Archival data from Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) Math and Reading scores from 2011, 2012, and 2013 in conjunction with five-year estimates of the U.S. Census data were examined. The study focused on 21 out-of-school demographic variables, grouped by family human capital and community social capital, to predict the percentage of students in Grade 6 who scored at or above Goal, the district level, on the CMT. The study examined 130 school districts in Connecticut who took the CMT in Grades 6 during the 2011, 2012, and 2013 testing cycles. Through simultaneous and hierarchical linear regression, between 70.7% and 73.7% of the variance in district, Grade 6 Math CMT scores were accounted for by out-of-school factors and between 64.6% and 72.7% of the variance in district, Grade 6 Reading CMT scores were accounted for by out-of-school factors. Two community variables, families earning under $35,000 per year and percentage of individuals 25 and older with a high school diploma, were identified as statistically significant predictors for all testing years. Using a predictive algorithm, the percentage of students performing at or above Goal on the Grade 6 2011, 2012, and 2013 CMT Mathematics was accurately predicted in 72.4% of Connecticut districts and in 68.2% of Connecticut districts in Reading. These findings strongly suggest that standardized tests are not assessing student achievement; they are more accurately assessing family and community demographic factors. This study calls into question the use of federal and state mandated standardized test scores, like the CMT, to drive school reform decisions.

Key words: high-stakes testing, school reform, Connecticut Mastery Test, socioeconomic status, Ecological Systems Theory, human family capital, community social capital, trauma, toxic stress

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.