Cover image for Improving student achievement : what state NAEP test scores tell use
Improving student achievement : what state NAEP test scores tell use
Grissmer, David W. (David Waltz), 1941-
Publication Information:
Santa Monica, CA : Rand, [2000]

Physical Description:
xi, 271 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


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LB2822.82 .I49 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

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The authors of this work examine the evidence from student scores in the US National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests given in mathematics and reading from 1990 to 1996. Among other things, they aim to determine which states show the most improvement in achievement scores.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Conducted under the auspices of RAND Education, this careful report examines the evidence from student scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests given in math and reading at the fourth- and eighth-grade levels between 1990 and 1996. Hoping to show how resources can be used to improve student performance, the authors, all employees of RAND, rank the 44 participating states by raw achievement scores, score improvement trends, and scores that compare students with similar family characteristics. Taking a scientific approach, they provide accurate data and objective analysis of whether public education can be reformed and which strategies are most likely to improve student achievement. The merit of this study is that it covers new ground by giving new interpretation of the empirical evidenceDe.g., the authors note that, contrary to the common belief, additional resources have been most effectively used for minority students rather than the more advantaged. This work will be of particular interest to policymakers, the state judiciary, and school administrators, and parents will find sections on family variables helpful. Recommended for all academic and public libraries.DLeroy Hommerding, Fort Myers Beach P.L. Dist., FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

RAND, a nonprofit policy and decision-making research institution, presents results of an examination of state-level achievement scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests given in mathematics and reading from 1990 through 1996. The report develops three measures that compare state performance: raw achievement scores, estimates of score differences for students with similar family characteristics, and estimated improvement trends. The study addresses whether there is evidence of improved scores outside of resource-intensive variables that might indicate that diverse reform policies widely implemented across states are actually raising achievement. The report indicates that preschool programs and small class size improve long-term student achievement. Further, the study found that students in Texas, where reforms were launched in the 1980s, tend to do better than students of the same race or of similar class or ethnic backgrounds in other states. California, by contrast, ranked last for students from similar backgrounds. Although many new reforms were recently enacted in California, that state has allocated fewer resources toward this end. The message of this report is that public education is reformable. Recommended for undergraduates, graduate students, researchers, faculty, and professionals. R. C. Morris; State University of West Georgia

Table of Contents

Prefacep. iii
Figuresp. xi
Tablesp. xiii
Summaryp. xvii
Acknowledgmentsp. xxxvii
Abbreviationsp. xxxix
Chapter 1 Introductionp. 1
Rationale for Focusing on State Achievement Resultsp. 1
Potential Barriers to Analyzing State Achievementp. 3
Study Objectivesp. 6
Report Organizationp. 8
Chapter 2 The State Naep Achievement Results and State Family and Educational Characteristicsp. 11
NAEP Achievement Testsp. 11
State Achievement Resultsp. 14
Differences in Family and Demographic Composition Among Statesp. 15
Family Capital and Social Capitalp. 17
Differences in State Education Characteristicsp. 19
Chapter 3 Review of the Literaturep. 23
Evidence from National Educational Resource Growth and Achievement Trendsp. 24
Previous Studiesp. 26
Reviews of Nonexperimental Studiesp. 26
Experimental Data on Class Sizep. 33
Evidence on Prekindergarten Effectsp. 35
The Effects of Teacher Characteristicsp. 36
Specification Implications from Experimental Studiesp. 37
Reconciling Experimental and Nonexperimental Resultsp. 39
Summary: A New Interpretation of the Empirical Evidencep. 40
Chapter 4 Methodologyp. 43
Implications of the Literature for this Analysisp. 43
Developing Family Control Variablesp. 44
The Census-NAEP Family Variablesp. 45
Composite SES Family Control Variablesp. 46
Model Specification and Estimationp. 47
Annualized Score Gains by Statep. 48
Score Differences by State for Students from Similar Familiesp. 50
The Effects of Educational Policy and State Characteristicsp. 51
Cost Estimationsp. 52
Sensitivity to Outliersp. 52
Variable Definitionsp. 52
Achievement Scoresp. 52
Family Variablesp. 53
Educational Measuresp. 53
Chapter 5 Trends in State Scoresp. 55
Testing for Evidence of the Effects of Reformp. 55
Resultsp. 56
Estimated Gains Across All Participating Statesp. 56
Estimated Annual Gains by Statep. 58
Chapter 6 Estimating Scores Across States for Students from Similar Familiesp. 65
Background and Rationalep. 65
Resultsp. 67
Texas Versus Californiap. 70
Chapter 7 Effects of State Educational Policiesp. 75
Results for Educational Policy and Characteristics Variablesp. 75
Per-Pupil Expenditure Modelp. 75
Resource-Utilization Modelp. 76
Teacher Characteristics Modelp. 78
Effects of Interaction Termsp. 78
Testing Correspondence with Tennesseep. 80
Sensitivity to Outliersp. 82
Explaining Texas-California Differencesp. 82
Chapter 8 Assessing the Cost-Effectiveness of Different Resource Utilizationsp. 85
Previous Cost-Effectiveness Measurementsp. 85
Estimating Cost-Effectiveness from Our Equationsp. 87
Caveats and Cautionp. 93
Chapter 9 Conclusionsp. 95
Methodological Considerations and Interpretation of the Results of Different Modelsp. 95
Resultsp. 97
Evidence for the Effects of Reformp. 99
Scores for Students from Similar Family Backgroundsp. 100
The Effects and Cost-Effectiveness of Resourcesp. 100
Interpretationsp. 101
Improving American Educationp. 101
Interpreting the Effects of Teacher Salary and Teacher Working Conditionsp. 104
Research Implicationsp. 108
Experimentationp. 108
Improving Nonexperimental Analysisp. 108
Building Theoriesp. 110
Improving NAEP Datap. 111
Limitations and Cautionp. 112
Appendix A State Naep Test Scores and State Family and Educational System Characteristicsp. 115
Appendix B Naep Exclusion and Participation Ratesp. 141
Appendix C Sources of Biasp. 153
Appendix D The Tennessee Experimentp. 165
Appendix E Family Variable Developmentp. 175
Appendix F Variable Definitionsp. 187
Appendix G Statistical Results for Estimating State Trendsp. 197
Appendix H Statistical Results for Estimating Score Differences for Students from Similar Families Across Statesp. 225
Appendix I Statistical Results for Estimating Effects of State Policy and Educational Characteristicsp. 231
Appendix J Robust Regression Resultsp. 249
Appendix K Making Cost-Effectiveness Estimates from the Tennessee Class-Size Experimentp. 253
Appendix L Regression Cost Estimatesp. 255
Bibliographyp. 257