Issue: 1986 Volume 28

(7) Assessment of School Merit with Multiple Regression: Methods and Critique

Richard L. Tate
Florida State University

Abstract: Regression-based adjustment of student outcomes for the assessment of the merit of schools is considered. First, the basics of causal modeling and multiple regression are briefly reviewed. Then, two common regression-based adjustment procedures are described, pointing out that the validity of the final assessments depends on (a) the degree to which the assumed adjustment model accurately reflects the actual causal processes of schooling in the district and (b) the validity and reliability of the measurement of all necessary variables. In the final section, it is argued that assessment of school merit should not be based solely on regression-based adjustment of student outcomes because state-of-the-art knowledge of causal processes and measurement skills are not adequate to ensure reasonable accuracy. A simple example is used to illustrate the possible severity of bias introduced by a single “specification error” in the model. It is suggested, however, that regression-based procedures might play other, less central, roles in the assessment of school merit.

Citation: Tate, R. L. (1986). Assessment of school merit with multiple regression: methods and critique. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 28(1), 5-23.

Download:  Tate.281.pdf (5 downloads)

(6) Florida Master Teacher Program: Testing Teacher Subject Matter Knowledge

Carolyn Lavely

Tom Fisher

Neal Berger

Donna Bullock

Constance Hines

Shlomo Sawilowsky

Abstract: The design and development of subject matter tests for the Florida Master Teacher Program are described. The psycho- metric qualities of each test and a profile of teachers earning the designation of Associate Master Teacher are presented. Florida’s future directions in testing teachers’ subject matter knowledge are discussed, particularly through the Raymond B. Stewart Career Achievement Program act of 1986.

Citation: Lavely, C., Fisher, T., Berger, N, Bullock, D., Hines, C., & Sawilowsky, S. (1986). Florida master teacher program: testing teacher subject matter knowledge. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 28(1), 83-97.

Download:  Lavely.281.pdf (5 downloads)

(5) The Extent of Agreement on a Definition of Competency Based Vocational Education Among Vocational Curriculum Specialists

Robert R. Lange
University of Central Florida

Abstract: An instrument developed to assess the extent to which postsecondary vocational programs are competency-based consisted of 159 items grouped into 8 sub-scales. The items were reviewed by a national sample of content experts who rated each item on the extent to which it differentiated between competency-based and conventional vocational education. Each item was classified as having received high, moderate, or low agreement. A log-linear analysis was completed with the item as the unit of analysis. The results indicated that agreement was higher with CBVE items than with conventional vocational items and was lower for items related to the basic standards of CBVE than for the facilitating standards.

Citation: Lange, R. R. (1986). The extent of agreement on a definition of competency based vocational education among vocational curriculum specialists. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 28(1), 99-108.

Download:  Lange.281.pdf (4 downloads)

(4) Teacher Behavior, Task Engagement, and Student Achievement: A Path Analytic Study

Constance V. Hines
University of South Florida

Jeffrey D. Kromrey
University of South Florida

Joyce Burick Swarzman
University of South Florida

Marcia Mann
University of South Florida

Susan P. Homan
University of South Florida

Abstract: The technique of path analysis was used to test the role of student task engagement as a mediating process variable linking teacher behavior and student achievement in math and social studies classes. Forty teacher-interns and their respective elementary level classes participated in the study. Two measures of teacher behavior and a measure of student task engagement were obtained during lessons from two-week instructional units designed specifically for the study. Achievement was defined as the class mean residualized gain score, residualizing student post- test scores on both content pretest performance and scores on relevant subtests of the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills. Results suggest different causal paths from teacher behavior to achievement in the two contexts. In social studies classes, task engagement emerged as a mediating variable as hypothesized, while in mathematics classes it played no causal role in achievement. Results were interpreted as an example of the added information obtained from testing path models rather than examining only zero-order correlations.

Citation: Hines, C. V., Kromrey, J. D., Swarzman, J. B., Mann, M., & Homan, S. P. (1986). Teacher behavior, task engagement, and student achievement: a path analytic study. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 28(1), 25-40.

Download:  Hines.281.pdf (4 downloads)

(3) The Effect of Sex-Dependent Norms on Aggregated Reading and Mathematics Test Scores

Gary W. Gramenz
Palm Beach County Schools

S. Jean Jolly
Palm Beach County Schools 

Robert Pickens
Palm Beach County Schools

Abstract: Differences between school reading and mathematics means, rank orderings, and change scores obtained from total-group and sex-dependent normS were examined. Small mean differences were found in approximately 10 percent of the cases, and shifts in rank order were neither widespread nor large. Moreover, the majority of sex-dependent change scores of schools with a 20 percent or greater shift in the proportion of boys over a two-year period were larger than the corresponding total-group values. These findings did not justify the use of sex-dependent norms for such purposes as program evaluations, merit school award programs, and longitudinal comparisons of schools.

Citation: Gramenz, G. W., Jolly, S. J., & Pickens, R. (1986). (3) The effect of sex-dependent norms on aggregated reading and mathematics test scores. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 28(1), 63-82.

Download:  Gramenz.281.pdf (4 downloads)