High stakes testing has been imbedded into state and federal accountability systems as a result of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) for over a decade. Historically, in Arizona educational accountability centered around the evaluation of schools. Arizona's school accountability system, AZLEARNS, used a combination of student proficiency, thresholds for the percent of students exceeding the standard, inter cohort growth, and individual student growth to assign school labels. These calculations were performed using student results from Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards (AIMS). Students were tested in grades three through eight and ten in Mathematics, Reading, Writing, and Science. AZLEARNS used several metrics to assign labels to public schools in Arizona. The labels ranged from Excelling to Failing and were predominately calculated using Mathematics and Reading AIMS test results.
In 2009, the Race to the Top (RTT) initiative prompted states to expand their educational accountability systems to include student achievement metrics in the evaluation of teachers and administrators. In Arizona, Senate Bill 1040 required districts to develop and implement a teacher evaluation instrument which includes 33% to 50% student achievement data. Districts were encouraged to include student performance on AIMS for teachers who directly instruct in the content areas of mathematics and reading. In addition to this shift of teacher accountability; in the 2010/2011 school year, Arizona developed the A-F School Accountability system which replaced AZLEARNS; a newly included metric in the AIMS data set, and the calculations of the letter grades in the A-F system is Student Growth Percentiles (SGP). SGPs accounted for fifty-percent of school and district grades under Arizona's A-F Accountability System. Arizona adopted a Value-Added Model (VAM) which incorporated up to three years of prior state assessment data which identified growth trajectories and assigned growth percentiles to each student. The Arizona VAM separated students into similar prior-year academic groups based on state assessments in Mathematics and Reading. Each student's SGP was calculated against only those students with similar academic performance. The A-F system used a combination of student proficiency and median growth percentiles in Mathematics and Reading AIMS scores. However, the specific usage of these metrics was not specified by SB 1040; consequently, districts throughout Arizona must decide which AIMS data to incorporate into the evaluation of teachers and administrators. This study examined a variety of calculation methodologies using student proficiency rates and SGPs in grades three through six on AIMS in a large suburban unified school district near Phoenix, Arizona to evaluate teacher effectiveness.
|Advisor:||Delecki, Walter J.|
|Commitee:||Conrad, Robyn M., Dereshiwsky, Mary L., Santa Cruz, J. Charles|
|School:||Northern Arizona University|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational tests & measurements|
|Keywords:||Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards, Assessments, Proficiency tests, Student Growth Percentiles, Teacher evaluation|
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