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Review of Student Assessment Data Reading First in Massachusetts Presented Online April 13, 2009 Jennifer R. Gordon, M.P.P. Research Manager.

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Presentation on theme: "Review of Student Assessment Data Reading First in Massachusetts Presented Online April 13, 2009 Jennifer R. Gordon, M.P.P. Research Manager."— Presentation transcript:

1 Review of Student Assessment Data Reading First in Massachusetts Presented Online April 13, 2009 Jennifer R. Gordon, M.P.P. Research Manager

2 2 Questions Addressed Today Have student assessment results in participating schools improved over time? Is there evidence that RF is closing the performance gap for key demographic subgroups? How effective is instruction for students who entered the year with varying levels of performance? How do students in participating schools perform on the third grade MCAS? What are the key factors differentiating students who do and do not attain proficiency on the state’s 3 rd grade reading test?

3 3 Cross-sectional analysis of grade-level changes Changes in the demographic profile over time likely to impact observed outcomes Analysis utilizes a mixed model regression procedure (similar to HLM) controlling for demographic differences in the schools and students being measured –Multi-level repeated measures model with observations (students) nested within larger units (schools) –Student outcomes (changes over time) modeled as a function of both student-level and school-level factors –Statistical significance (p ≤ 0.05) indicates that the observed outcome is more than just a function of the change in demography

4 4 Have student assessment results in participating schools improved over time? Massachusetts relies primarily on results from the DIBELS ORF and GRADE assessments to address the following federal evaluation criteria Increase in percentage of students performing “at or above grade-level” –DIBELS “Low Risk” and GRADE “Average/Strength” Decrease in percentage of students with “serious reading difficulties” –DIBELS “At Risk” and GRADE “Weak” Overall results show that Massachusetts has met these criteria for all grade-levels

5 5 DIBELS ORF – RF Cohort 1 Percent Low Risk by grade All cumulative changes from 2004 to 2008 are statistically significant

6 6 DIBELS ORF – RF Cohort 1 Percent At Risk by grade All cumulative changes from 2004 to 2008 are statistically significant

7 7 DIBELS ORF – RF Cohort 1 Change in Mean Score (Words Correct per Minute) Spring 2004Spring 2008 GradeBenchmarkN Mean Score N Change All improvements in mean scores from 2004 to 2008 are statistically significant after controlling for demographic shifts over time. All spring 2008 means are higher than spring 2007 means (not shown). In spring 2004 only first grade mean score met the benchmark. By spring 2008, mean scores for all grades are at or above benchmark.

8 8 DIBELS ORF – RF Cohort 2 Percent Low Risk by grade All cumulative changes from 2005 to 2008 are statistically significant

9 9 DIBELS ORF – RF Cohort 2 Percent At Risk by grade All cumulative changes from 2005 to 2008 are statistically significant

10 10 DIBELS ORF – RF Cohort 2 Change in Mean Score (Words Correct per Minute) Spring 2005Spring 2008 GradeBenchmarkN Mean Score N Change All improvements in mean scores from 2005 to 2008 are statistically significant after controlling for demographic shifts over time. First grade mean scores for both spring 2005 and spring 2008 exceed the benchmark.

11 11 GRADE Total Test – RF Cohort 1 Percent Average/Strength by grade All cumulative changes from 2004 to 2008 are statistically significant

12 12 GRADE Total Test – RF Cohort 1 Percent Weak by grade All cumulative changes from 2004 to 2008 are statistically significant

13 13 Interpretation of Changes in Mean Standard Score Source: Journal of School Improvement, formerly published by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement Magnitude of GainInterpretation SU meaningful; worth mentioning 0.20 – 0.29 SUquite good 0.30 SU or greatersubstantial; impressive (www.ncacasi.org/jsi/2000v1i2/standard_score)

14 14 GRADE Total Test – RF Cohort 1 Change in Mean Std. Score Spring 2004Spring 2008 GradeN Mean Std. Score N Change in Std Units Interpretation Quite Good Quite Good Meaningful Standard score of 100 is average for student’s grade. Standard deviation of standard score is 15. All changes in mean score (not shown) are statistically significant Interpretation taken from Journal of School Improvement

15 15 GRADE Total Test – RF Cohort 2 Percent Average/Strength by grade Cumulative changes for grades 1 and 2 are statistically significant

16 16 GRADE Total Test – RF Cohort 2 Percent Weak by grade Cumulative changes for grades 1 and 3 are statistically significant

17 17 GRADE Total Test – RF Cohort 2 Change in Mean Std. Score Spring 2005Spring 2008 GradeN Mean Std. Score N Change in Std Units Interpretation Quite Good Meaningful Quite Good Standard score of 100 is average for student’s grade. Standard deviation of standard score is 15. All changes in mean score (not shown) are statistically significant Interpretation taken from Journal of School Improvement

18 18 GRADE – Schools with 80% or more at benchmark All Reading First cohorts Haverhill/Walnut Square (92%) Plymouth/West (90%) Westfield/Moseley (89%) Narragansett/Baldwinville (86%) Plymouth/South (86%) Revere Garfield (85%) Taunton/Walker (84%) Cambridge/Haggerty (82%) Community Day Charter (81%) Methuen/Tenney (81%) Westfield/Franklin Ave (80%) Boston Renaissance (80%)  Since they began program implementation, about 70 percent of RF schools have demonstrated increases in the proportion of students in the average/strength category AND decreases in the proportion of students in the weak category.  These included about 27 percent of schools which showed substantial improvement, with average/strength increases AND weak decreased of at least 10 percentage points.

19 19 Is there evidence that RF is closing the performance gap for key demographic subgroups? Nearly demographic subgroups have shown improvement in overall reading skills as measured by GRADE. –The exception is for African American students in RF Cohort 2 who have shown a very small decline in A/S performance Of particular note are subgroups with levels of improvement which meaningfully exceed the general population –An indication that the performance gap for these students is narrowing –Cohort 1: SPED, LEP, Hispanic –Cohort 2: LEP There were no subgroups with levels of improvement that were meaningfully smaller than the general population –An indication that the performance gap for these students is widening

20 20 GRADE Total Test – Third Grade Subgroups RF Cohort 1 Percent Average/Strength Cumulative change for low income students is statistically significant

21 21 GRADE Total Test – Third Grade Subgroups (cont) RF Cohort 1 Percent Average/Strength Cumulative change for Hispanic students is statistically significant

22 22 RF Cohort 1 Subgroups Change in GRADE Mean Std Score – 2004 vs GroupGrade 1Grade 2Grade 3 All Students SPED* 0.46* LEP* Low Income Black Hispanic* * 0.31 Subgroup results compared to All Students ** Quite good improvement* Meaningful improvement ^ Meaningful lag

23 23 GRADE Total Test – Third Grade Subgroups RF Cohort 2 Percent Average/Strength Cumulative changes are not statistically significant

24 24 GRADE Total Test – Third Grade Subgroups (cont) RF Cohort 2 Percent Average/Strength Cumulative change for Hispanic students is statistically significant

25 25 RF Cohort 2 Subgroups Change in GRADE Mean Std Score – 2005 vs GroupGrade 1Grade 2Grade 3 All Students SPEDInsufficient numbers for analysis LEP* Low Income BlackInsufficient numbers for analysis Hispanic Subgroup results compared to All Students ** Quite good improvement* Meaningful improvement ^ Meaningful lag

26 26 How effective is instruction for students who entered the year with varying levels of performance? Developed by Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) using DIBELS. Massachusetts uses GRADE to provide a measure of overall reading ability. Effectiveness for Average/Strength Students: calculated for students scoring in the average/strength categories in the fall and provides the percentage of those students who are still scoring at that level in the spring. Effectiveness for Low Average Students: calculated for those students scoring in the low average category in the fall and provides the percentage of those students scoring at the average/strength level in the spring. Effectiveness for Weak Students: is calculated for those students scoring in the weak category in the fall and provides the percentage of those students scoring at low average or above in the spring.

27 27 Findings: Instructional Effectiveness Among students who began the school year: In Average/Strength categories (stanines 5-9) –About 95% ended the year at or above benchmark –More than half improved their performance by one or more stanine In the Low Average category (stanine 4) –About 70% ended the year in average/strength –Instruction had a substantial impact at all grade levels and was most effective for first graders, especially in regard to moving from low average to strength In the Weak Category (stanines 1-3) –More than half ended the year in low average or higher –Instruction was most effective for first graders, about 47% moved from weak to average/strength

28 28 Effectiveness for “Average/Strength” Students ( All RF Cohorts)

29 29 Effectiveness for “Low Average” Students ( All RF Cohorts)

30 30 Effectiveness for “Weak” Students ( All RF Cohorts)

31 31 How do students in participating schools perform on the third grade MCAS? Despite improvement on the DIBELS and GRADE, skills have not improved enough to yield improvement on the more challenging MCAS Reading test. Overall performance levels are lower, but the performance trend for RF students is consistent with statewide data showing declines in proficiency and increases in warning. Needs Improvement is more consistent with “grade-level” performance on nationally-normed assessments –In 2008, 89 percent of students statewide met or exceeded NI as did 77 percent of RF students

32 32 Key Differences: GRADE Level 3 Form B compared to 2008 Grade 3 MCAS Reading Nature of the items –GRADE measures a combination of decoding and comprehension skills whereas MCAS is almost exclusively comprehension questions –GRADE includes only multiple choice items whereas MCAS also includes two open-response items. Passage “difficulty” –GRADE totals 849 words with an average of 121 words per passage. Passages range from 45 to 196 words. Predominantly text constructed specifically for the test. –MCAS totals 4,221 words with an average of 603 words per passage. Passages range from 136 to 1,005 words. All text taken from literature.

33 33 MCAS Third Grade Reading Test Statewide Results – 2003 to 2008

34 34 MCAS Third Grade Reading Test Cohort 1 Results – 2003 to 2008

35 35 MCAS Third Grade Reading Test Cohort 2 Results – 2004 to 2008

36 36 “Needs Improvement” is more consistent with “grade- level” performance on nationally-normed tests GRADE Stanine 2008 MCAS Performance Level (All RF Cohorts) Warning Needs Improvement Proficient or Above 59.6%74.9%15.5% 61.6%53.0%45.4% 70.0%24.6%75.4% 80.0%8.3%91.7% 90.0%2.2%97.8%

37 MCAS results – School-level Wide disparities in MCAS performance among schools –Proficiency 6 schools equal or better than the statewide rate of 56% 28 schools at 25% proficiency or less –Warning 11 schools had warning rates equal or better than the statewide rate of 11%, including 3 schools at 0% 19 schools had warning rates of 33% or more Only 11 schools showed both increases in proficiency and decreases in warning –3 schools with substantial improvement (10 or more points)

38 MCAS– Top Performing RF Schools Warning at or below state average Westfield – Moseley (0%) Plymouth – South Elem. (0%) Westfield – Franklin Ave (0%) Boston Renaissance Charter (3%) Gill-Montague – Sheffield (3%) Boston – Perkins (3%) Plymouth – West Elem. (5%) Chicopee – Stefanik (5%) Robert M. Hughes Academy (9%) North Adams – Brayton (10%) West Springfield – Coburn (11%) Statewide warning is 11% Proficiency at or above state average Westfield – Moseley (78%) Plymouth – South Elem. (75%) Westfield – Franklin Ave (73%) Boston Renaissance Charter (65%) North Adams – Brayton (60%) Plymouth – West Elem. (56%) Statewide proficiency is 56%

39 39 MCAS–Schools with “Substantial” Improvement Proficiency Increases and Warning Decreases of 10+ points SchoolCohortProficiencyWarning Chicopee – Stefanik pts-17 pts Westfield – Moseley1+ 20 pts-10 pts Lawrence – Arlington1+ 11 pts-15 pts

40 40 What key factors differentiate students who do and do not attain proficiency on the MCAS? Conducted analysis for all RF and Silber 3 rd graders with spring 2008 GRADE results in the average/strength categories (stanine 5-9) Compared performance of proficient and not-proficient students on the following items: –DIBELS ORF: percent low risk –GRADE subtests: percent at or above benchmark – Individual MCAS passages and test questions (including multiple- choice vs. open-response items)

41 41 Key Factors in Proficiency All RF and Silber Cohorts GRADE stanine 7-9 GRADE stanine 6 GRADE stanine 5 NP (333) P (1746) NP (850) P (719) NP (1445) P (253) DIBELS ORF – percent low risk * 71%86%* 56%74%* 46%59% GRADE Passage Comp – percent A/S * 92%99%*83%96%* 70%78% GRADE Listening Comp – percent A/S * 70%83%66%70%* 53%64% * Difference in percentage between proficient and non-proficient students with similar GRADE performance are statistically significant (chi-square)

42 42 Key Factors in Proficiency (continued) Individual MCAS Passages GRADE stanine 7-9 GRADE stanine 6 GRADE stanine 5 Mean Percent Correct NP (333) P (1746) NP (850) P (719) NP (1445) P (253) MCAS Total Test69%84%64%80%59%79% Passage 4: “Star Pictures” and “Canis Major” (poetry) * 71%90%67%84%61%83% Passage 6: “Mercury and the Workmen” (play) 74%91%* 66%87%61%82% Passage 7: Soil Circle* 56%82%* 49%71%* 42%72% * Difference between NP and P students is disproportionate to the difference in their overall MCAS results (4+ pts greater than the total test mean pct correct)

43 43 The Open Response Challenge GRADE stanine 7-9 GRADE stanine 6 GRADE stanine 5 Mean Pct Correct NP P P P Joanna Cole MC75%89%71%86%66%83% Joanna Cole OR32%46%34%44%32%47% Hello, Goodbye MC88%96%83%94%77%93% Hello, Goodbye OR42%56%41%55%40%60% On the two passages with both multiple choice and open response items, RF students perform much better on the multiple choice items than the open response items – regardless of their MCAS proficiency and GRADE scores.

44 44 Findings – Opportunities for improving MCAS performance Developing faster and more accurate decoding skills Practicing with longer and more difficult authentic text – including high quality expository text Building receptive vocabulary Developing strategies to infer meaning from text Helping students respond to literature – especially in writing

45 45 Summary In Massachusetts, RF has had positive measurable impacts on student skills including improving the performance of students who begin the year at moderate or substantial risk. Yet, it remains important for the state to develop a better understanding of the challenges that limit improvement, particularly on MCAS and provide the necessary PD and support to move forward. Survey responses indicate that RF staff are generally quite positive about the program’s impact on their knowledge and practice with regard to effective reading instruction. In the long run, this holds the potential to positively impact students’ reading skills once program funding is gone.

46 46 For additional information, please contact: Jennifer Gordon, Research Manager UMass Donahue Institute 333 South Street, Suite 400 Shrewsbury, MA


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