Perceived Effects of the Kentucky Instructional Results Information System (KIRIS)

by Daniel Koretz, Sheila Barron, Karen Mitchell, Brian M. Stecher

Download

Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 5.3 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Purchase

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback83 pages $9.00 $7.20 20% Web Discount

The Kentucky Instructional Results Information System (KIRIS) exemplifies several key features of current assessment-based reform of education. It relies substantially on "performance assessment" — that is, forms of testing other than multiple choice. It measures student achievement against performance standards that are set higher than current performance, and the stakes are high for schools: financial rewards for those whose KIRIS scores improve and sanctions (soon) for those whose scores do not. As part of a larger study of education reform in Kentucky, RAND staff surveyed teachers and principals across Kentucky to see how KIRIS is affecting their work, student performance, instruction, assessment, and school management. The response was mixed: Although KIRIS provides useful information and encouraged positive changes in instruction, many found it stressful and bad for morale. Most principals found the program burdensome but most also said that the benefits balanced or outweighed the burden. Although teachers reported that expectations increased for all students, the increase was perceived as greater for high achievers than for low achievers or special education students and as more helpful for high-achieving students. Teachers reported using both broad instructional changes and focused test preparation to prepare students for KIRIS. However, they gave test preparation and familiarity much more credit than improved knowledge or skills for initial score gains in their schools. These findings should be instructive for participants and stakeholders in Kentucky schools, as well as in other states contemplating similar reform.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.