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Forces and Factors Affecting Ohio Proficiency Test Performance:
A Study of 593 Ohio School Districts

Randy L. Hoover, Ph.D.

Section 9
A Brief Closing Statement

      The primary purpose of this study was to examine forces and factors that affect Ohio Proficiency Test performance. The primary finding is that OPT is extremely biased across the elements defined within the parameters of the Presage Factor. The significance of the primary finding is that OPT is not a valid measure of either academic performance or school accountability at any level including the Ohio School Report Card ratings.
      However, nothing within the study’s findings or inferences should be viewed as blaming or making excuses for students not learning, educators not educating, or districts not performing. On the contrary, the findings and inferences lead us away from excuse making into the realm of validly assessing accountability of actual academic and school performance. There is vast difference between an excuse and an explanation of OPT performance.
      This study of OPT performance explains why scores are invalid regardless of social economic level. It is no more an excuse for poor performance than it is for high performance. Rather the findings show that regardless of social economic status, the results are not valid; OPT performance of advantaged districts is just as invalid as the performance of less advantaged districts. Indeed, when we control for social economic factors, the findings show that actual academic performance is evenly distributed across all levels of advantagement-disadvantagement. Children from disadvantaged environment are shown to be equally successful as those from advantaged environments.
      Also, it was not the intent of the study to beg the question of educational accountability or academic standards. On the contrary, accountability and standards are both requisite to establishing a quality system of public schooling. However, it is incumbent upon stakeholders in general and state education policy makers in particular to establish assessments and standards that meet the well established standards for test validity and appropriateness. The simple irony implicit in the findings and inferences of the study is that the citizens of Ohio have a right to hold public schools accountable just as they have the right to hold accountable those who shape public school policy.
"The problem with truth is its verification,
the problem with fiction is its veracity."
| Home |
| 1-Overview || 2-FAQ || 3-Primary Findings || 4-Actual Performance | | 5-Funding Variables |
| 6-Teacher Data || 7-Race || 8-OSRC || 9-Closing Statement || Appendix-Top Performing Districts |