Haves, Halves, and Have-Nots: School Libraries and Student Achievement in California Page: 97
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other state-wide studies like this one. The English Language Arts test includes a reading
comprehension component but also tests other state standards for this content area and is given at
all three grade levels, so this was a good candidate for use as a dependent variable. At both the
eighth and 11th grades, most students take a social studies test, affording another data analysis
opportunity related to a content area frequently associated with support from school library
School-level results for these tests are posted on the California Department of Education
(CDE) Website annually and can be downloaded as comma delimited files. These scores are
reported as both mean scale scores and by percentage of students who score at the advanced,
proficient, basic, below basic, and far below basic levels. Cut-points for these levels are held
constant from year to year for each grade level and content area, but the number or percent
correct associated with each scaled score may vary. Using the mean scaled scores from a
criterion-referenced test is a valid method of test analysis (Urbina, 2004) and on the CST,
Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) officials say that these scores may be used to
compare results within content area and grade level tests, both within a single year and across
years (STAR Technical Assistance Center, 2006). Mean scaled scores were used for this study,
as the number of students scoring at proficient or above on some tests is less than 30% of the
total testing population (Ed-Data, 2008). Using the mean scaled score as the dependent variable
allowed for a direct and accurate comparison between schools across the entire spectrum of
The CST tests undergo content reviews by content-area experts at Educational Testing
Service and the CDE, and all test items are subjected to a thorough review by a content-area
Assessment Review Panel. This panel reviews items for accuracy, clarity, bias, and quality, and
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Achterman, Douglas L. Haves, Halves, and Have-Nots: School Libraries and Student Achievement in California, dissertation, December 2008; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9800/m1/111/: accessed June 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .