High Stakes State-Wide Testing of the Learning Environment Outcomes: The Case of Numeracy

Document Type

Book Chapter


Sense Publishers


Faculty of Education and Arts


School of Education / Fogarty Learning Centre




This chapter was originally published as: Elderfield, J., & Waugh, R. F. (2011). High Stakes State-Wide Testing of the Learning Environment Outcomes: The Case of Numeracy. In Robert F. Cavanagh & Russell F. Waugh (Eds.). Applications of Rasch Measurement in Learning Environments Research (pp. 19-43). Location: Sense Publishers. Original book available here


This study investigated the differences between two competing regression methods (single-level Means-on-Means regression and Multilevel Modelling) used to pro¬duce value-added performance-indicator information for the monitoring of school effectiveness. Data from 24 government secondary schools with a total of 2862 students in 132 Year 8 classes in Western Australia were used. The dependent variable was a Rasch-created linear measure of Year 8 Numeracy. The five inde¬pendent variables were: (1) a Rasch-created, linear measure of Year 7 Numeracy; (2) gender; (3) ethnic group (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, or non-Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status); (4) language background (English or other than English); and the school-level variable (5) school socioeconomic status. The findings of this study suggest that residual-based performance indicators calculated using the Multilevel model are more accurate and fair than those pro¬duced using the single-level Means-on-Means regression model, and would enable both schools and teachers to report on accountability and investigate a greater range of school effectiveness issues with more confidence.