Cognitive laboratories took place with middle grades students to identify any issues with items proposed for the field test MGLS mathematics, reading and executive function measures. We also did cog labs for the parent, math teacher and school administrator questionnaires. Focus groups for middle grades mathematics teachers helped us to understand the way to improve items and the questionnaire as a whole for that group. We also conducted a focus group of middle grades students on their use of technology terms so that our questionnaire items might be more responsive to the latest trends. Students in the three IDEA categories (autism, emotional disturbance, specific learning disability) that we have selected for special focus in MGLS:2017 were also interviewed and assessed for their understanding of items and ability to complete assessments and questionnaires. Preparations for the spring 2015 field test are underway, specifically school recruitment.
We are adding a measure of reading proficiency to the academic test battery based on work done in IES’s Reading for Understanding grant program. Details forthcoming!
Another exciting development is in the area of inclusion. We will oversample disabled students in five of the IDEA categories as follows: 1) specific learning disabilities, 2) ADD/ADHD children under the “Other Health Impairment” category, 3) speech or language impairment, 4) emotionally disturbed, and 5) autism. While all students who can take a test using accommodations will be included in our study, these selected groups will be augmented to assure that researchers have the statistical power needed for meaningful analysis.
We completed a series of Content Review Panels to determine the design of the instruments to be field tested in Spring 2015. The Mathematics panel included Kathy Heid of Pennsylvania State University, Margie Hill of the University of Kansas, Lisa Keller, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Tom Loveless of the Brookings Institution, Ed Nolan of Montgomery County Public Schools, Maryland, Linda Wilson, and Paul Sally of the University of Chicago. Our panel on Executive Function included James Byrnes of Temple University, Lisa Jacobson of the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Dan Romer of the University of Pennsylvania. Socioemotional instruments and teacher and family surveys were advised by James Byrnes of Temple University, Susan Dauber of Blue Stocking Research , Scott Gest of Pennsylvania State University, Richard Lerner and Tama Leventhal both of Tufts University, and Russell Rumberger of the University of California, Santa Barbara. Our School Administrator questionnaire received input from Susan Dauber of Blue Stocking Research, George Farkas of the University of California at Irvine, Jeremy Finn of the State University of New York at Buffalo, Tom Loveless of the Brookings Institution, and Ed Nolan of Montgomery County Public Schools, Maryland.