Changes in school composition during the COVID-19 pandemic: Implications for school-average interim test score use
School officials regularly use school-aggregate test scores to monitor school performance and make policy decisions. In this report, RAND researchers investigate one specific issue that may contaminate utilization of COVID-19–era school-aggregate scores and result in faulty comparisons with historical and other proximal aggregate scores: changes in school composition over time. To investigate this issue, they examine data from NWEA’s MAP Growth assessments, interim assessments used by states and districts during the 2020–2021 school year.
Two studies were conducted to evaluate whether the existing MAP Growth item parameter estimates are invariant across different calibration samples.
By: Wei He
Products: MAP Growth
Topics: Computer adaptive testing
The four-day school week (4dsw) is growing in popularity, especially in rural areas across the western United States. RAND researchers conducted a study of the implementation and outcomes of the 4dsw in numerous districts across Idaho, New Mexico, and Oklahoma, as well as administrative data from these and other states. The analyses resulted in mixed findings, with small cost savings and high satisfaction for teachers, families, and students, but lower test scores related to the 4dsw. Given these mixed findings, communities are likely to make different choices about the 4dsw depending on their goals and the local context.
By: M. Rebecca Kilburn, Andrea Phillips, Celia Gomez, Louis Mariano, Christopher Doss, Wendy Troxel, Emily Morton, Kevin Estes
Topics: Informing instruction
This report examines the academic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) students, with the goal of documenting achievement trends to provide leaders and policymakers with evidence to guide action to address educational inequities for BIPOC students.
Topics: Item response theory
MAP Growth universal screening benchmarks: Establishing MAP Growth as an effective universal screener
The report documents the process NWEA followed to determine and validate the cut scores for fall, winter, and spring that can be used to identify students in Grades K–8 who have severe learning difficulties and need intensive intervention in reading and mathematics.