Creation and Dissemination of Upper-Elementary Mathematics Assessment Modules

Funding Agency: National Science Foundation

Period: 5/1/2009 - 4/30/2011

Name: Robin Jacob


This proposal grows out of a need on the part of Math-Science Partnerships and others for instruments designed to detect the effect of teacher learning on student achievement. Although MSPs are typically required (by both NSF and the US Department of Education) to link their teacher professional development efforts to improvements in student achievement, there are few instruments available that enable high-quality measurement of student knowledge and growth. As a result, many such projects are constrained to using standardized tests, such as state assessments or the Terra Nova, despite the fact that these assessments are thought by many to be inadequate for gauging student growth or for gauging teacher effects on student growth. To help provide better evidence regarding the effects of teacher learning on student outcomes, the Learning Mathematics for Teaching (LMT) project will, in partnership with the Educational Testing Service (ETS), design and pilot growth-sensitive student assessment modules for the upper elementary grades. These modules will have three unique features. First, assessment tasks will be developed from the literature on student’s cognitive growth in particular mathematical domains. Second, these modules will be aligned with NCTM’s Focal Points and existing LMT teacher knowledge and classroom observation instruments. Finally, these instruments will be machine-scoreable. This enables their use in studies that must recruit a large number of students to ensure adequate power to detect program effects.

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