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Document Number: 3271

The Validity of Gains in Scores on the Kentucky Instructional Results Information System (KIRIS) - KIRIS provides monetary rewards to schools that exceed assessment standards and sanctions schools that are below target standards. This report studies the validity of score increases on KIRIS from 1992 to 1996. Findings indicate that scores on new assessments may be due to increasing educator familiarity with the tests and item-specific coaching, rather than improved student learning. The report suggests that rewarding schools on the basis of these gains may be unwarranted and provides suggestions for avoiding inflated score gains including: setting realistic goals for improvement, designing assessments to minimize narrowed instruction and teaching to the test, lessening accountability emphasis and broadening accountability systems to take into account other indicators of education practice besides test scores. (Daniel Koretz and Sheila Barron, RAND, 1998)...


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