Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Degree

Spring 2015

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Teaching and Learning

First Advisor

John L. Hosp

Abstract

The Rising Above the Gathering Storm report (National Academy of Sciences, 2007) emphasizes a need for improved science education in United States schools. Instruction, informed by assessment, has been repeatedly demonstrated to be effective for increasing students' performance. In particular, the use of curriculum-based measurement (CBM) to assist with making screening decisions has been shown to increase the likeliness of students meeting meaningful outcomes. While CBM tools for assisting with making screening decisions in reading, mathematics, and written language have been well examined, tools for use in content areas (e.g., science and social studies) remain in the beginning stages of research. In this study, two alternate forms of a new CBM tool, Statement Verification for Science (SV-S), for assisting with making screening decisions regarding students' science content knowledge is examined for technical adequacy.

A total of 1,545 students across Grades 7 (N = 799) and 8 (N = 746) completed Forms A and B of SV-S the week prior to, and within two weeks after, a statewide high-stakes test of accountability including Science, Reading, and Mathematics. Obtained data were used in order to examine internal consistency, test-retest with alternate forms reliability, and evidence of criterion- and construct-related validity. Promising results were found for reliability, in particular internal consistency, while results related to evidence of criterion- and construct-related validity were less than desired. Such results, along with additional exploratory analyses, provide support for future research of SV-S as a CBM tool to assist teachers and other educators with making screening decisions.

Public Abstract

The fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) play an increasing role in the everyday lives of those living in the United States and around the world. Yet, for students in the United States, evidence suggests knowledge related to STEM fields is not keeping pace with such increased influence. As a result, teachers and other educators are faced with the challenge of identifying students likely, and not likely, to meet future outcomes related to science and related disciplines. These types of decisions have been called screening decisions and their purpose is to identify which students require additional instructional support in order to meet expectations (e.g., learn grade level science content by the end of the school year).

Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM) is a measurement technology which includes many tools which can be used to assist teachers and other educators with making screening decisions in reading, mathematics, and written language. However, in content areas (e.g., science and social studies) tools are still being developed.

This study provides potential evidence that a new CBM tool for content areas, Statement Verification for Science (SV-S), possesses the necessary characteristics to assist with making screening decisions. A total of 1,545 students across Grades 7 and 8 participated in this study. In this study, students’ performance on two alternate forms of SV-S and a statewide high-stakes test of accountability were examined.

Keywords

publicabstract, CBM, CBM in content areas, curriculum-based measurement, educational decision making, instructional decision making, universal screening

Pages

xi, 95 pages

Bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 89-95).

Copyright

Copyright 2015 Jeremy W. Ford

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