Dr. Muschkin, Dr. Glennie and Dr. Lennon aim to holistically assess the NC Department of Public Instruction’s Kindergarten Entry Formative test (KEA), particularly in regards to its impact on at risk student populations.
Current research indicates that formative assessment programs in various states have resulted in improved outcomes for students. However, the degree of benefit varies widely and the specific impact of NC’s KEA remains unknown. Dr. Muschkin, Dr. Glennie and Dr. Lennon will conduct an impact study to holistically assess the impact of KEA in North Carolina by considering students’ academic outcomes in addition to a variety of non-academic outcomes. These data will be available through the North Carolina Education Research Data Center at Duke University. Analysis of these data will aim to reveal how KEA benefits North Carolina’s students, and more specifically, how it may differently benefit students from less advantaged demographic groups. Additionally, the research team will use the impact study findings to develop a survey of teachers in grades K-3, designed to address potential issues with KEA and to assess how teachers use student assessments in practice. A pilot survey will be tested in 2018, and the researches will seek grant funding in order to administer the survey to a representative sample of teachers across the state. This survey will identify and explore factors that influence the varying effectiveness of assessment programs, a topic that remains unexplained in existing literature.