• TRENDS IN NAEP SCORES AMONG 17-YEAR-OLD STUDENTS IN THE ERA OF ACCOUNTABILITY

      Kyler, Katherine (Cunningham Memorial Library, Terre Haute, Indiana State University., 2017-12)
      Education has undergone a sweeping renovation throughout the last several decades as part of the school accountability movement aimed to increase student success. High school graduation rates are the highest they have been in decades. School accountability measures continue to be implemented and modified with a goal of increasing student success and closing the achievement gap (Maleyko & Gawlik, 2011). Accountability measures are in place that require data analysis and reporting of information such as graduation rates and standardized test scores (No Child Left Behind Act [NCLB], 2008). While it is important to hold schools accountable, many of the currently utilized methods to measure student success can be manipulated to improve school and district ratings (Maleyko & Gawlik, 2011). The purpose of this quantitative study was to better understand the relationship between select student demographics and low-stakes the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores for time periods before and after the implementation of numerous school accountability measures. Specifically, I analyzed data sets from 1990 and 1999 for the time period before NCLB (2008) and data sets from 2004 and 2012 for the time period after the implementation of NCLB. This data was examined using independent samples t tests and Cohen’s d statistic. Data analysis showed that there was a significant increase in NAEP Math scores for 17-year old students in the time period before NCLB but not after. NAEP English scores did not show a significant difference before NCLB but did show a significant increase after NCLB. While NAEP scores pre and post NCLB do not demonstrate significant changes in student success, graduation rates continue to rise. This findings and conclusions of this study will benefit school districts and policy makers when v considering the effectiveness of past school accountability measures. Additionally, this study provides an example of the inconsistencies associated with high stakes measures of student success and highlights the importance of alternate indicators of success.