Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Rachel Leventhal-Weiner


The implementation of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) in 2002 led to an accountability system in schools based on high-stakes standardized tests (Orlich, 2004). NCLB measures schools’ performance on tests based on the percentage of students performing at proficiency level. Due to the need to reach proficiency, Connecticut has placed an emphasis on reporting static yearly test scores on the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT), without indicating gains made by students as they transition from one grade level to the next. This research study used independent student-level data to calculate gains on the CMT across three continuous school years for students in grades three to eight. It was found that notable gains were made on particular subtests of the CMT, which otherwise would have gone unnoticed based on the public data currently being released by the state of Connecticut. Additionally, in Hartford Public Schools, residential mobility resulted in losses on test scores and English Language Learners exhibited higher gains than non-English Language Learner students on the CMT. In conclusion, as opposed to static yearly scores, gain indicators provide more accurate information in regards to the gains and losses being made on standardized tests. This better information from the use of gain indicators would lead to more effective educational reforms contributing to improvements in student and school performance.


Senior Project completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Educational Studies.

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