Title

Testing 1,2,3: An Analysis of 4Sight in Pennsylvania

Date of Original Version

3-18-2009

Type

Working Paper

Abstract or Description

This paper analyzes the effectiveness of a battery of formative assessments, 4Sight, which are broadly aligned with annual assessments required by NCLB. These formative assessments are designed to provide teachers with feedback on student performance throughout the year in order to raise end of year student test scores. Methodologies for evaluating the effect of using 4Sight on test score outcomes are drawn from the program evaluation literature, and include individual and school-level OLS as well as matching at the school-level.

Micro-econometric results show that 4Sight had no discernible effect on math scores and a small negative effect on reading scores in its first year in Pennsylvania. Policy recommendations include continuing a smaller-scale trial period of 4Sight for several more years in conjunction with careful, improved alignment between 4Sight and PSSA, ongoing empirical analysis of its effects, and incorporating more opportunity for feedback to teachers and students to improve 4Sight as a formative assessment.