The purpose of this study is to evaluate the use of formative assessment, data collection and analysis, and focused instruction by comparing the reading achievement, as measured by the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS), of third grade students receiving focused instruction as the result of formative assessment, data collection and analysis, with the reading achievement, as measured by the TAKS, of third grade students not receiving focused instruction as a result of formative assessment, data collection and analysis. A causal-comparative research design was used to test the hypotheses in this study. Due to barriers inherently present within the structures of public school districts, true randomization was, for all purposes, impractical. Campus demographics were primarily governed by geographic zoning and are reflective of demographic disparities. Therefore, this research design utilized a convenience sampling in order to select two assigned groups of participants. Two elementary school campuses of a south Texas school district will be selected, and all third grade students enrolled at each campus were assigned to respective groups. Group A were the third-grade classes at Campus A consisting of 45 students. Group B were the third-grade classes at Campus B consisting of 62 students. Using archival data obtained from a south Texas public school district, the study of both assigned groups used the data obtained from the initial benchmark for each campus. Campus A administered the March 2003 Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills release test for Reading at the beginning of the fall semester. Campus B administered the March 2004 Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills release test for Reading in the middle of the same fall semester. Both campuses used the scores of these state examinations as a baseline. Note that the initial benchmark test used by Campus B was also used by Campus A as a formative assessment. Subsequently, the data for both campuses obtained from the mid-year District benchmark—the April 2006 Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills release test administered at the beginning of the spring semester—was used in the comparison as the test at the end of the period of study. Group A was administered a formative test within the interim period of study. Group B was not subjected to any tests within the interim. In this study, the data collected were analyzed using a single-group t-test on the pretest scores that indicated a significant difference in means. Therefore, an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) in which the dependent variable was reading achievement was measured by a pretest and posttest.Curriculum and Instruction, Department o
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