Date of Award

Fall 10-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. John Henschke

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherrie Wisdom

Third Advisor

Dr. Suzanne DeZego

Abstract

Since the introduction of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), districts across the country implemented computerized benchmark, or interim assessments, into their curriculum as a means to monitor and improve student achievement. Often, a change in curriculum entails a demand of educators’ time, whether through professional development or lesson planning, and therefore affects teachers’ attitudes. The purpose of this study was to determine what, if any, relationship there was among middle school teachers’ attitudes, monthly computerized benchmark assessments, and student scores on the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP). Educators of the communication arts and mathematics content areas from one middle school were administered a survey and questionnaire to address two questions: 1) What are teachers’ attitudes regarding the use of the Tungsten Learning System in the areas of reading and mathematics, and 2) How, if at all, do teachers change their behaviors in regards to the monthly reports of the Tungsten Learning System? Both assessment tools addressed categories of Training or Comfort Level, Use of Tungsten Feedback, Teachers’ Perceptions of Tungsten, Accountability, and Student Preparation and Motivation. To observe if there was a difference in student achievement, as measured by the MAP, test scores of students from two middle schools of the same district, since the implementation of the Tungsten Learning System, were analyzed using ANOVA. In conclusion, the study found there was a difference in student achievement in mathematics MAP scores. Also, based on the survey and questionnaire responses, teachers did not believe Tungsten Learning System was a good predictor of student achievement. However, overall they favored computerized benchmark assessments if not administered monthly, aligned with the iii curriculum, provided student feedback and effective re-teaching tools, and they felt they were adequately trained. Teachers did believe their attitudes had more of an effect on their students’ attitudes than on students’ achievement.

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