Measurement Study

To determine the extent to which instruction aligns with college- and career-readiness standards, C-SAIL is developing new tools to assess alignment between teachers' instruction and state standards in English language arts and math.

We build and validated these instruments during Year 1, so that we could use them in our planned pilot of the intervention in the Year 2 and then in the controlled trial of our Feedback on Alignment and Support for Teachers (FAST) Program in Years 3 and 4 of the Center.

Research Questions

  1. What is the validity of teacher reports of their content and cognitive demand coverage for a single lesson?
  2. What is the reliability of content analyses of assessments based on the revised Surveys of Enacted Curriculum (SEC) Framework?
  3. What is the validity of teacher reports of content coverage over an extended period of time?
  4. What is the reliability of coding of classroom observations?
  5. Does the validity or reliability in the above studies differ based on student type or subject?

Proven expertise, future value

The measurement study capitalizes on the SEC expertise of C-SAIL director Andy Porter and co-director Morgan Polikoff. Furthermore, the study-developed observational instrument focused on college- and career-readiness standards will have potential value in both research and practice for measuring teacher implementation of standards-aligned instruction in the future.

Teacher surveys

For our FAST Program study, we are using teacher surveys and logs based on the SEC Framework. These tools have been developed and refined over the years for use in measuring teachers' instruction and the content of curriculum, standards, and assessments. They measure instruction at the intersection of specific topics and levels of cognitive demand. C-SAIL revised the SEC in the fall of 2015 to include content that is more reflective of current state college- and career-readiness standards. 

The revised "Main" SEC can be used by other researchers to measure instruction or curriculum. However, if a research project is focused on particular grades, we encourage the researchers to consider modifying the list of topics or cognitive demand levels to better align with the grade level under study. For instance, we are revising the instruments to better align with elementary mathematics by adding more detailed topics in the areas of operations and fractions and by altering the cognitive demand levels to represent the levels covered in fourth grade standards.