Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.

Department (Legacy)

Department of Teaching and Learning

Committee Chair

Miller, Stephen K.

Author's Keywords

Demographic; Achievement measurements; Kentucky; Accountability


Educational tests and measurements--Social aspects--Kentucky; Test bias--Kentucky; Academic achievement--Social aspects--Kentucky


This study investigates the progress of standards-based accountability in eliminating the effects of student background and school composition factors on student achievement and school performance in a large, urban district in Kentucky. The factors included gender, socioeconomic status (SES), ethnicity, mobility, family structure, giftedness, and disability. The school composition variables were the percentages of those factors in the school populations. Each grade and level--elementary, middle, and high school--was analyzed by multiple regression. At the student level, SES, giftedness, and disability predicted 15 to 36% of the variance in scores. SES, family structure, and mobility rate accounted for 56 to 91% of the variance in aggregate school scores. The effects were greater in middle and high schools than in elementary and greater on norm-referenced than on criterion-referenced tests. These findings have implications for creating more equitable and effective schools and accountability systems.