Issue: 1993 Volume 33

(6) Scoring Classroom Achievement Tests: What To Do with the Hard Items?

Roger E. Wilk
University of South Florida

Abstract: This study compares the results of applying two commonly used methods of adjusting classroom tests when items are found to be too difficult: (I) dropping difficult items or (2) adding bonus points to the original score. Undergraduate teacher education students in a required measurement class were given the same five achievement tests during the fall (n = 54) and spring (n = 54) semesters. Four methods of adjusting students’ scores were applied: two methods dropped items from the test based on the difficulty value and rescored the tests, and two methods added a bonus percent to the unadjusted total score. Although correlations among semester percentage grades for the different methods were all above .97, only the addition of bonus points maintained the order of the students on the original test. The agreement among the methods in assigning letter grades (90 = A, etc.) varied from 13 to 93%. The effect of dropping items on the content validity and the reliability varied among the unit tests, depending on the characteristics of the items dropped.

Citation: Wilk, R. E. (1993). Scoring classroom achievement tests: what to do with the hard items? Florida Journal of Educational Research, 33(1), 21-30.

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(5) A Quality Function Deployment Analysis of School Customer Needs for Meeting the Goals of Blueprint 2000

Susan N. Kushner
University of South Florida

Lou M. Carey
University of South Florida

James O. Carey
University of South Florida

Mona M. Jensen
Palm Beach County Schools

Abstract: In providing leadership for Blueprint 2000 School Advisory Councils, school principals must employ group communication and decision-making skills. In this study a planning procedure called Quality Function Deployment (QFD) was modified for use with school administrators. Six cross-school teams of principals from Palm Beach County used QFD to generate the top priority needs of school customers (e.g., students, parents, teachers) for Blueprint 2000 goals I through 6. Burton and Merrill’s taxonomy of needs sources and Kaufman’s Organizational Elements Model (OEM) were used to classify and analyze the perceived needs identified by the principals. Results indicated that school leaders were adept at using the QFD process and that assuming the perspective of the customer enabled principals to identify needs beyond those typically identified for school improvement. Furthermore, several interesting patterns of needs were observed across the categories of both the Burton and Merrill and the Kaufman systems, suggesting that both analysis procedures can provide School Advisory Councils with valuable insights for their needs analysis and eventual needs assessment activities.

Citation: Kushner, S. N., Carey, L. M., Carey, J. O., & Jensen, M. M. (1993). A quality function deployment analysis of school customer needs for meeting the goals of blueprint 2000. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 33(1), 48-70.

Download:  Kushner.331.pdf (909 downloads )


(4) Voices from the Perch: An Orchestrated Response to Davis

Catherine Emihovich and Students
Florida State University

Abstract: The editor of this journal sent me an advance copy of Wesley’s Davis’ article asking if I would be interested in writing a response, no doubt since my voice was one of those “pronouncements from an awesomely elevated professorial perch” that Mr. Davis apparently found so irksome. In the spirit of one of the best attributes of a particular form of qualitative research, ethnography, in that it seeks to construct meaning from a multitude of voices, I have chosen to include the voices of my students enrolled in a course I taught in the summer of 1993, Advanced Methods of Qualitative Research. Their thoughtful comments and insights are a better testament to how this research paradigm leads to a greater understanding of schools and children’s learning than any I can provide. Mr. Davis’ worst fears about teachers conducting research may be alleviated since several students in the class were teachers (past and present) who are using their knowledge of classrooms as a basis for formulating their research questions. This article is a compilation of voices who strongly contest Mr. Davis’ contentions; my role in this rebuttal is to act as an interlocutor to selected portions of the students’ responses. Since qualitative research often features the organization of data by thematic categories, the students’ responses are organized into four major themes: the nature of research, the construction of meaning, the question of validity, and textual strategies for writing up social science research.

Citation: Emihovich, C. (1993). Voices from the perch: an orchestrated response to Davis. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 33(1), 10-20.

Download:  Emihovich.33.1.pdf (963 downloads )

(3) Debate, Oh Sweet Debate: Wherein Is Thy Research?

Wesley D. Davis
Escambia County Public Schools

Abstract: Current teacher preparatory instruction in some universities has set the stage for a debate related to qualitative versus quantitative research. In this regard, the present article has a two-fold purpose: (I) to stimulate further debate and (2) to present from a supportive posture the position of quantitative research. Primary issues relate to definition, philosophical context, curriculum content, and perceived expectations. A rebuttal in defense of quantitative research is encouraged.

Citation: Davis, W. D. (1993). Debate, oh sweet debate: wherein Is thy research? Florida Journal of Educational Research, 33(1), 5-9.

Download:  Davis.331.pdf (1767 downloads )

(2) The Knowledge Base of Curriculum

Linda S. Behar
University of Florida

Abstract: Knowledge bases include ways of knowing that are important for professional educators and necessary for practice. Domains of curriculum, along with interrelated curriculum practices that are representative of the kinds of behaviors that curriculum specialists perform in the real world of curriculum work, represent a potential knowledge base. In this study, a teacher group and professors of curriculum identified a quantifiable knowledge base of curriculum practices that were correlated with nine domains of curriculum. As teacher education seeks to redefine professional standards, these findings might suggest a compendium of skills educators should acquire through their training.

Citation: Behar, L. S. (1993). The knowledge base of curriculum. Florida Journal of Educational Research, 33(1), 31-39.

Download:  Behar.331.pdf (1085 downloads )