Publications & Resources

Final Report: Perceived Effects of the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program

Mar 1996

Daniel Koretz, Karen Mitchell, Sheila Barron and Sarah Keith

In this study, CRESST/RAND researchers investigated the effects of the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program (MSPAP) by surveying Maryland teachers and principals. General support for MSPAP as an instrument of reform (in contrast to its role as an assessment) was widespread among surveyed educators, but teachers’ views of MSPAP as an assessment were mixed. Large majorities of both teachers and principals reported that MSPAP has been at least somewhat successful in meeting its goal of improving instruction. Teachers reported relying on diverse methods to prepare students for MSPAP, ranging from broad improvements in instruction to narrowly focused test preparation, such as use of practice tests. Their explanations of MSPAP score gains in their own schools, however, raise the possibility that initial gains were inflated. About half the teachers reported that work with practice tests and familiarity with the assessment had contributed significantly to their gains, while only 15 to 20% said the same of improvements in knowledge and skills. The report recommends several lines of research to explore issues raised by these survey findings.

Koretz, D., Mitchell, K., Barron, S., & Keith, S. (1996). Final report: Perceived effects of the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program (CSE Report 409). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).