A Quantitative Case Study Analysis of the 4Sight Benchmark Assessment

by Castagna, Daniel Robert

Abstract (Summary)
This study followed students in a suburban middle school (grades 6, 7 and 8) in Western Pennsylvania and confirmed predictions made by the 4Sight benchmark tests (given during the 2007-2008 school year) when compared to the actual student results on the spring 2008 PSSA exam. The researcher evaluated the ability of the 4Sight tests to accurately predict students scores on the PSSA exam. The Success for All Foundation claimed that this formative assessment can predict (using a linear regression model) how students would have scored on the PSSA test if it had been given on the same day. The researcher confirmed this allegation with a case study with an entire school population. The Western Middle School administered four rounds of 4Sight testing during the 2007-2008 school year with the last round being administered one week after the PSSA exam. A comparison was analyzed between the third and fourth round of tests administered in January and April and the PSSA test in April. In their 2007 Technical Manual, the Success for All Foundation used third quarter test results to analyze correlation to the PSSA test. The researcher duplicated this process to compare correlations and added the fourth test analysis for additional findings. A Kappa coefficient formula was also used to compare predicted and actual PSSA classification categories. Since the 4Sight exam is new, little research has been done to track its effectiveness. Students raw score results were charted (by grade level) from the four 4Sight exams. Along with their raw score is the predicted categorical classification created by the Success for All Foundation that coincides with categories reported after PSSA testing. The last column of the test score data shows students actual raw score results and actual categorical classifications on the 2008 PSSA test (published near July of 2008). This format allowed the researcher to chart students progress from the third and fourth 4Sight exams and analyze correlation among predicted and actual results.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Dr. William Bickel; Dr. Otto Graf; Dr. Joseph Werlinich; Dr. Sean Hughes

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:administrative and policy studies


Date of Publication:01/12/2009

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