End of Course Exams

All Research

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SYNOPSIS
CITATION
The role of end-of-course exams and minimum competency exams in standards-based reforms.

This paper describes the role end of course exams can play in the standards based reform movement.

Bishop, J. H., Mane, F., Bishop, M., Moriarty, J., Murnane, R., & Steinberg, L. T,. (2001). The role of end-of-course exams and minimum competency exams in standards-based reforms. Brookings papers on education policy, 4, 267-345.

Who Leaves? Teacher Attrition and Student Achievement

The goal of this paper is to estimate the extent to which there is differential attrition based on teachers' value-added to student achievement.

Boyd, D., Grossman, P., Lankford, H., Loeb, S., & Wyckoff, J. (2008). Who leaves? Teacher attrition and student achievement. Working Paper No. 14022. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved from https://www.nber.org/papers/w14022

Explaining the short careers of high-achieving teachers in schools with low-performing students

This paper examines New York City elementary school teachers’ decisions to stay in the same school, transfer to another school in the district, transfer to another district, or leave teaching in New York state during the first five years of their careers.

Boyd, D., Lankford, H., Loeb, S., & Wyckoff, J. (2005). Explaining the short careers of high-achieving teachers in schools with low-performing students. American Economic Review, 95(2), 166-171.

The narrowing gap in New York City teacher qualifications and its implications for student achievement in high-poverty schools.

By estimating the effect of teacher attributes using a value-added model, the analyses in this paper predict that observable qualifications of teachers resulted in average improved achievement for students in the poorest decile of schools of .03 standard deviations.

Boyd, D., Lankford, H., Loeb, S., Rockoff, J., & Wyckoff, J. (2008). The narrowing gap in New York City teacher qualifications and its implications for student achievement in high‐poverty schools. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management: The Journal of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management27(4), 793-818.

STATE END-OF-COURSE TESTING PROGRAMS: A Policy Brief

In recent years the number of states that have adopted or plan to implement end of course (EOC) tests as part of their high school assessment program has grown rapidly. While EOC tests certainly offer great promise, they are not without challenges. Many of the proposed uses of EOC tests open new and often complex issues related to design and implementation. The purpose of this brief is to support education leaders and policy makers in making appropriate technical and operational decisions to maximize the benefit of EOC tests and address the challenges.

Brief, A. P. (2011). State End-of-Course Testing Programs.

State High School Exit Exams: A Baseline Report.

This paper reviews the use of exit exams across the states and identifies challenges in implementation of these exams and what we know about the effects of them.

Chudowsky, N., Kober, N., Gayler, K. S., & Hamilton, M. (2002). State High School Exit Exams: A Baseline Report. ERIC. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED472055.pdf

The Relationship between Advanced Placement and College Graduation. 2005 AP Study Series, Report 1.

Dougherty, C., Mellor, L., & Jian, S. (2006). The Relationship between Advanced Placement and College Graduation. 2005 AP Study Series, Report 1. National Center for Educational Accountability. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED519365.pdf

Single‐track year‐round education for improving academic achievement in U.S. K‐12 schools: Results of a meta‐analysis

This systematic review synthesizes the findings from 30 studies thatcompared the performance of students at schools using single‐trackyear‐round calendars to the performance of students at schools usinga traditional calendar.

Fitzpatrick, D., & Burns, J. (2019). Single‐track year‐round education for improving academic achievement in US K‐12 schools: Results of a meta‐analysis. Campbell Systematic Reviews15(3), e1053.

Grade Inflation in High Schools (2005–2016)

This study examines that assumption, asking the question:  how well do student grades correlate with test scores, school demographics, student performance on college entrance exams, and the historical difficulty for getting A’s (is it easier or harder to get A’s).  The study found that students who scored higher on end-of-course (EOC) examinations also had higher grades.  However having high grades did not correlate with doing well on the examination.  

Gershenson, S. (2018). Grade Inflation in High Schools (2005–2016).

Constrained job matching: Does teacher job search harm disadvantaged urban schools?

This paper provides direct evidence about the impacts of school job matching on productivity and student achievement.

Hanushek, E. A., & Rivkin, S. G. (2010). Constrained job matching: Does teacher job search harm disadvantaged urban schools? Working Paper No. 15816. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved from https://www.nber.org/papers/w15816.pdf

Teacher training, teacher quality and student achievement

The authors study the effects of various types of education and training on the ability of teachers to promote student achievement.

Harris, D. N., & Sass, T. R. (2011). Teacher training, teacher quality and student achievement. Journal of Public Economics95(7–8), 798-812.

 

 
Pulling back the curtain: Revealing the cumulative importance of high-performing,

This study examines the relationship between two dominant measures of teacher quality, teacher qualification and teacher effectiveness (measured by value-added modeling), in terms of their influence on students’ short-term academic growth and long-term educational success (measured by bachelor’s degree attainment).

Lee, S. W. (2018). Pulling back the curtain: Revealing the cumulative importance of high-performing, highly qualified teachers on students’ educational outcome. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis40(3), 359–381.

Do Pay-for-Grades Programs Encourage Student Academic Cheating? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment

Using a randomized control trial in 11 Chinese primary schools, we studied the effects of pay-for-grades programs on academic cheating. We randomly assigned 82 classrooms into treatment or control conditions, and used a statistical algorithm to determine the occurrence of cheating. 

Li, T., & Zhou, Y. (2019). Do Pay-for-Grades Programs Encourage Student Academic Cheating? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment. Frontiers of Education in China14(1), 117-137.

An evaluation of the impact of end-of-course exams and ACT-QualityCore on US history instruction in a Kentucky high school

This study evaluated the effect data from end of course exams had on teacher practices in history instruction.  In general, the teachers supported the changes but were reluctant to change their instructional practices.

Mueller, R. G. W., & Colley, L. M. (2015). An evaluation of the impact of end-of-course exams and ACT-QualityCore on US history instruction in a Kentucky high school. The Journal of Social Studies Research. Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu/download/41700187/JSSR.pdf

The district effect: Systemic responses to high stakes accountability policies in six southern states

This study evaluated the effects of high stakes test such as end of course exams at the level of a school district.  Across the six states included in the study  the effects were mixed.  In general the more developed the system was the better the effects but this was not always the case.

Opfer, V. D., Henry, G. T., & Mashburn, A. J. (2008). The district effect: Systemic responses to high stakes accountability policies in six southern states. American Journal of Education, 114(2), 299-332. Retrieved from http://www.darleenopfer.com/File/aje final.pdf

Incorporating End-of-Course Exam Timing Into Educational Performance Evaluations

There is increased interest in extending the test-based evaluation framework in K-12 education to achievement in high school. High school achievement is typically measured by performance on end-of-course exams (EOCs), which test course-specific standards in subjects including algebra, biology, English, geometry, and history, among others. Recent research indicates that when students take particular courses can have important consequences for achievement and subsequent outcomes. The contribution of the present study is to develop an approach for modeling EOC test performance regarding the timing of course.

Parsons, E., Koedel, C., Podgursky, M., Ehlert, M., & Xiang, P. B. (2015). Incorporating end-of-course exam timing into educational performance evaluations. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 8(1), 130-147.

Highlights from TIMSS and TIMSS Advanced 2015: Mathematics and Science Achievement of U.S. Students in Grades 4 and 8 and in Advanced Courses at the End of High School in an International Context.

The focus of the report is on the performance of U.S. students relative to their peers in other countries on TIMSS and TIMSS Advanced 2015, and, for TIMSS results, on changes in achievement since 2011 and 1995. This report also describes the characteristics of students who participated in the advanced mathematics and physics assessments at the end of high school, and describes the performance of males and females in these subjects. In addition, it includes achievement in Florida, and international benchmarks to provide a way to interpret the scale scores by describing the types of knowledge and skills students demonstrate at different levels along the TIMSS scale. 

Provasnik, S., Malley, L., Stephens, M., Landeros, K., Perkins, R., and Tang, J.H. (2016). Highlights From TIMSS and TIMSS Advanced 2015: Mathematics and Science Achievement of U.S. Students in Grades 4 and 8 and in Advanced Courses at the End of High School in an International Context (NCES 2017-002). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch.

Teacher Efficacy and the Effects of Coaching on Student Achievement 1

This research considers relationships between student achievement (knowledge and cognitive skill), teacher efficacy (Gibson & Dembo, 1984), and interactions with assigned coaches (self-report measures) in a sample of 18 grade 7 and 8 history teachers in 36 classes implementing a specific innovation with the help of 6 coaches.

Ross, J. A. (1992). Teacher efficacy and the effects of coaching on student achievement. Canadian Journal of Education, 17(1), 51–65.

Overview of Formative Assessment

Effective ongoing assessment, referred to in the education literature as formative assessment or progress monitoring, is indispensable in promoting teacher and student success. Feedback through formative assessment is ranked at or near the top of practices known to significantly raise student achievement. For decades, formative assessment has been found to be effective in clinical settings and, more important, in typical classroom settings. Formative assessment produces substantial results at a cost significantly below that of other popular school reform initiatives such as smaller class size, charter schools, accountability, and school vouchers. It also serves as a practical diagnostic tool available to all teachers. A core component of formal and informal assessment procedures, formative assessment allows teachers to quickly determine if individual students are progressing at acceptable rates and provides insight into where and how to modify and adapt lessons, with the goal of making sure that students do not fall behind.

 

States, J., Detrich, R. & Keyworth, R. (2017). Overview of Formative Assessment. Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. http://www.winginstitute.org/student-formative-assessment.

Can high stakes testing leverage educational improvement? Prospects from the last decade of testing and accountability reform.

This paper examines the use of high stakes testing such as end of course exams in American education.  The conclusions are that the exams do not produce substantive changes in instructional practices and the information is useful to measure school and system progress but has limited utility for instructional guidance.

Supovitz, J. (2009). Can high stakes testing leverage educational improvement? Prospects from the last decade of testing and accountability reform. Journal of Educational Change, 10(2-3), 211-227.

State High School Exit Exams: A Move toward End-of-Course Exams.

This report updates the status of high school exit exams nationally.  The number of states using end of course exams as part of accountability measures has become more common and data suggest the trend will continue.

Zabala, D., Minnici, A., McMurrer, J., & Briggs, L. (2008). State High School Exit Exams: A Move toward End-of-Course Exams. Center on Education Policy. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED504468.pdf

End-of-Course Exams

This report provides information on states that require students enrolled in courses that have an end-of-course (EOC) exam to take the EOC

Zinth, J. D. (2012). End-of-Course Exams. Education Commission of the States (NJ3).

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