Creation and Dissemination of Upper-Elementary Mathematics Assessment Modules

Principal Investigator: 
Project Overview
Background & Purpose: 

The purpose of this study is to create, pilot and validate a student assessment designed to detect the effect of meaning-oriented teaching on student learning. This growth-sensitive student assessment module can be administered in the upper elementary grades, and will cover key topics in number, operations, algebra, and geometry.


Norfolk, VA, as well as four districts participating in the National Center for Teacher Effectiveness.

Research Design: 

This project has a longitudinal research design and will generate evidence that is causal [experimental]. Original data will be collected from upper-level elementary mathematics teachers and fourth- and fifth-grade students using assessments of learning and observation [videography]. The project also will develop student assessment modules designed to detect the effect of teacher learning on student achievement. The development of this assessment will include the designing, piloting and validation of test items, which will be in alignment with the existing Learning Mathematics for Teaching Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT) instrument and NCTM Focal Points.

This project will administer the MKT assessment, which generates a measure of teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching. We will also collect videotape of teachers’ instruction and score it using the Mathematical Quality of Instruction (MQI) instrument.

The data will consist of students’ scores on the piloted assessment instruments, which will be constructed using Item Response Theory models, and teachers’ scores on the MKT and MQI instruments. The validity of the student assessment instrument will be investigated according to Kane’s (2001) framework. In the third year of the study, estimates of teacher knowledge will be compared with students’ growth using both correlational and experimental analyses. In the latter, we will look for evidence that a professional development program delivered to teachers caused a change in those teachers’ MKT, MQI, and student outcomes.


Findings will be posted as they become available.

Other Products: 

Student assessment instrument of upper elementary grades mathematics.