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Exploring Research - Writing a Research Proposal by Salkind

Research and review on five articles related to "State Testing and Impact on Children" in accordance with the following instructions:
• Using the criteria for "Judging a Research Study" and evaluate at least five or more research articles.
Criteria for Judging a Research Study:
Review of Previous Research:
1. How closely is the literature reviewed in the study related to previous literature?
2. Is the review recent? Are there any references you know about that were left out?
Problem and Purpose:
3. Can you understand the statement of the problem?
4. Is the purpose of the problem clearly stated?
5. Does the purpose seem to be tied to the literature that is reviewed?
6. Is the objective clearly stated?
7. Is there a conceptual rationale to which the hypothesis are grounded?
8. Is there a rationale for why the study is an important one to do?
9. Are the research hypothesis clearly stated?
10. Are the research hypothesis explicitly stated?
11. Do the hypothesis clearly state an association between variables?
12. Are the hypothesis grounded in theory or in a review and presentation of relevant literature?
13. Are the hypothesis testable?
14. Are the independent and pendent variables clearly defined?
15. Are the definitions and descriptions of the variables complete?
16. Is it clear how the study was conducted?
17. Was the sample selected in such a way that you think it is representative of the population?
18. Is it clear where the sample came from and how it was selected?
19. How similar are the subjects in the study to those that have been used in other similar studies?
Results and discussion:
20. Does the author relate the results to the review of the literature?
21. Are the results related to the hypothesis?
22. Is the discussion of the results consistent with the results?
23. Does the discussion provide closure to the initial hypotheses presented by the author?
24. Is the list of references current?
25. Are the references consistent in their format?
26. Are the references complete
27. Does each reference cited in the body of the paper appear in the reference list?
General comments about the report:
28. Is the report clearly written and understandable?
29. Is the language unbiased (non-sexist and relatively culture free)?
30. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the research?
31. What are the primary implications of the research?
32. What would you do to improve the research?
• Answer Questions 1 and 2 for all five articles.
• Answer two questions from each of the remaining sections of the criteria questions for all five sources (14 questions for a total of 16 questions per source).
• Include an APA references list for all five (or more) sources. Responses to all questions should be given using complete sentences

Solution Preview

I completed four of the articles, so you should try the fifth. I also left room for you to add to each section where you feel it needs more information based on the questions.

Article 1:
Ferrara, Steve; Svetina, Dubravka; Skucha, Sylvia; Davidson, Anne H. (2011) Test Development with Performance Standards and Achievement Growth in Mind. Educational Measurement: Issues & Practice. Dec, Vol. 30 Issue 4, p3-15. 13p.

Review of Previous Research
This article reviews the previous research as it relates directly to test standards and how they are applied to the No Child Left Behind standards. The articles are current, the oldest from 2006. There are direct correlations with both this study and the previous works about standards and if they have been created with performance in mind.

Problem and Purpose:
The article discusses if the testing truly addresses performance. Item writers must create tests that test actual proficiency. The article looks at if the item writers actually hit the target proficiency marks as expected by those who analyze student performance.

All design and development activities in this testing program focused on aligning the test development and score interpretation systems.

Included in this were math assessments from a state assessment program. It was a qualitative study that used the math assessments and several item response demands in a coding framework. The study focused on the operational items in the math tests.

The sample included the 2008 math assessments of grades 3, 4, and 5 in a state assessment program. The assessment program overall includes grades 3-8 scores for math, reading, and science along with high school students.

Results and discussion:
The test met the expected goals of moderation for the operational items. Items such as language, math vocabulary, cognitive responses and math problem complexity were among the coding framework targets. The developers of this state assessment test designed the test to meet the demands of assessment and performance as set by the standard-setting team. The performance level descriptors work to monitor achievement growth. The item writers were trained to meet these demands in the test designs. These writers had limited success in hitting the proficiency level targets. The lower grades did better at 40-50% while the 5th grade tests were only at 14%. The study found that cognitive and linguistic demands on the items did not increase consistently and reflect coherently, the increasing expectations of achievement in math.

The reference list is extensive and ...

Solution Summary

The expert writes a research proposal by Salkind for exploring research.