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A Comparison of SSI and Non-SSI Performance On State NAEP Mathematics Assessment Items


The impact of curricular reform efforts that are incorporated into the Statewide Systemic Initiatives (SSIs) program were examined at the item level using data from the 1990, 1992, and 1996 NAEP state administrations. The item-level data from the State NAEP for grade 8 from 1990, 1992, and 1996 and for grade 4 from 1992, and 1996 were examined applying methodology developed for the study of differential item functioning (DIF) under Item Response Theory. The results suggest that there are some important differences in item functioning between SSI and non-SSI states. Eighth grade Students in SSI states in 1992 and 1996 appear more likely to perform better than those in non-SSI states on items reflecting curricular reforms associated with the NCTM Standards. At grade 4, the earlier differences between SSI states and non-SSI states declined, indicating that SSI states became more comparable with the non-SSI states in the underlying constructs being tested.