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Title:An Examination of the Factors Affecting State and District Participation in the Voluntary National Test in 4th-Grade Reading
Author(s):Hanson, Matthew Robert
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):DeStefano, Lizanne
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Reading
Abstract:The relationship between the proposed Voluntary National Test in 4 th-grade Reading (VNTR) and existing state and district reading assessments for similarly aged children was examined. Also studied were the factors that affected states' and districts' decisions about whether to participate in the VNTR. Findings obtained from surveys of and interviews with assessment directors in state departments of education and in urban school districts indicate that while there is support for national standards for fourth-grade reading, the relevance of a national test to state and local goals for reading remain uncertain. Second, states' and districts' perceptions of the value added by the VNTR depends in large part on whether they view the similarity between the VNTR and their existing reading assessments as providing additional or redundant information about student achievement. Whereas some assessment directors, particularly in states, would use the VNTR as a benchmark for evaluating (a) their reading frameworks and assessments against the VNTR/NAEP framework and (b) the relationship between student performance on state and local tests and their performance on the VNTR, others viewed its similarity to existing reading tests as a reason not to participate (i.e., they did not think that the new national test would yield additional or unique information about students' reading achievement). Finally, states' and districts' decisions about whether to participate in the VNTR appear to depend, in part, on three general factors, or some combination thereof. These are: (1) the characteristics of the VNTR, (2) cost of participating and/or states' and districts' previous investments in their own reading assessment systems, and (3) its potential for yielding results that can be used for politically persuasive purposes.
Issue Date:2000
Description:162 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2000.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9955622
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2000

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