By Jennifer McCombs

Examines functionality of children (grades four via 12) on states' interpreting or English language arts and writing exams and at the nationwide evaluate of academic development, and records the content material, structure, and function degrees of these tests and the types of talents and potential states have been emphasizing to accomplish pursuits for adolescent literacy. RAND accrued details from the 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC) on nation evaluation platforms and pupil functionality on examining or English language arts and writing exams as a way to degree adolescent's (grades four via 12) functionality towards kingdom literacy pursuits. additionally examines the relative functionality of scholars opposed to nationwide criteria represented by means of the nationwide overview of schooling development (NAEP).

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We do not know whether, in most cases, these are authentic texts that students are likely to encounter in their everyday lives or whether the passages are manufactured for the assessment. The question of whether these assessments actually test students on skills they need for post-secondary success is important, particularly in high-stakes assessment environments in which assessments influence classroom instruction in significant ways (Wolf and McIver, 1999; Borko and Elliott, 1999). In a recent study of high school graduation examinations in six states, Achieve (2004) found that, although the high school examinations did measure key skills without which students could not succeed, the examinations measured only a fraction of the skills and knowledge that colleges and employers report as being essential.

The achievement gap between white and African American students on the writing assessments ranged from 3 to 26 percentage points. Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Maine reported the lowest achievement gap—less than 10 percentage points (Kentucky and Maine had very low pass rates overall); Connecticut, Ohio, and Illinois had an achievement gap of 20–29 percentage points. Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas also showed a difference in pass rates of less than 10 percentage points between white students and Hispanic students.

In 15 states, the performance gap was less than 20 percentage points; in three states, the gap was 30 percentage points or higher. 4). In about two-thirds (33 out of 51) of the states, the gap was between 20 and 29 percentage points; in 12 states, it was between 10 and 19 percentage points; and in the remaining six states, it was 30 percentage points or higher. Writing Assessment Forty-four states participated in the 2002 4th-grade writing assessment. 5, ranged from 10 percent (DC) to 49 percent (Connecticut).

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