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Describing NAEP Background Question Data: A Cautionary Tale. Paul Stemmer stemmerp@mi.gov NAEP State Coordinator Michigan Department of Education National Conference on Student Assessment, Minneapolis, Minnesota June 2012. NAEP Grade 4 Reading Trends Comparison.

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Describing NAEP Background Question Data: A Cautionary Tale

Paul Stemmer

stemmerp@mi.gov

NAEP State Coordinator

Michigan Department of Education

National Conference on Student Assessment, Minneapolis, Minnesota

June 2012

what is different about these comparisons enlarged
What is different about these comparisons? (enlarged)

Avg SS 202 214 219 222 * 229 237 238 * 217 219 221 * 215 225 224

Nat. Pub. MA MI OH

Avg SS 220 237 219 224

wait a minute what happened enlarged
Wait a Minute, What Happened? (enlarged)

Avg. SS * 217 219 222 * * 191 190

why the discrepancies
Why the discrepancies?
  • Two Possibilities
  • A. If the data is in error?
    • Differences in respondent question interpretation – definitions?
      • Need to improve the question
    • Social Desirability
  • B. If data is “true,” perhaps more interesting?
    • Internal School Variables
    • External School Factors
why the discrepancies1
Why the discrepancies?
  • If data is “true,” perhaps more interesting?What are the possible intervening factors?
    • Internal School Variables
      • Professional development
      • Rigor
      • Instructional Methods/Impact
      • Professional knowhow vs. execution
      • Administration, management and follow through
      • Resources and resource utilization
    • External School Factors
      • Chronic Absenteeism
      • Concentration of Poverty
      • Health Factors
      • Cultural differences
conclusions
Conclusions?
  • Descriptive data can be helpful and informative
  • Have to keep reminding ourselves it is not causative/predictive
  • Are we jumping to solutions without fully understanding how best to solve these problems of large urban school districts?
  • Do we infer too much from snapshot assessment results about the quality of teaching and administration?
    • Does arguing otherwise sound like excuses?
  • Aren’t we all guilty of trying to connect the dots?
    • Trying to simplify the story
    • Making inferences beyond what the data is telling us.
finally
Finally
  • Prediction is very hard, especially about the future.

- Yogi Berra

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For More Information:

Contact:

Paul Stemmer, Ph.D., NAEP State Coordinator

Michigan Department of EducationOffice of Educational Assessment and AccountabilityPO Box 30008Lansing, MI 48909

(517)241-2360stemmerp@mi.gov