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Comparability of test scores for non-aboriginal and aboriginal students Davidson, Bonita Marie

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the comparability of the B C Ministry of Education's Grades 4 and 7 Reading and Numeracy Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) scores for aboriginal and non-aboriginal students. It was found that the compositions of the constructs being measured had many similarities across the aboriginal and nonaboriginal populations and were congruent for the reading assessments but not for the numeracy assessments. The reliability estimates of the scores for each population were high and very similar. The Grade 7 Numeracy assessment provided more measurement accuracy for the aboriginal group than the non-aboriginal group, while the Grade 4 Numeracy assessment and the Grades 4 and 7 Reading assessments provided less measurement accuracy for the aboriginal group than the non-aboriginal group. For all assessments, items were ordered similarly in terms of their difficulty level and their degree of discrimination, and were ordered moderately similar in their inherent possibility of being answered correctly based on chance. For all assessments there was a low level of differential item functioning. Overall, the results indicated that for this study, there was a high degree of comparability across the aboriginal and non-aboriginal populations for the Reading FSA scores because all four analyses for both grades showed them to be highly comparable. There was a moderately high degree of comparability across the two populations for the Grade 4 Numeracy FSA scores because three out of the four analyses showed them to be highly comparable. There was a moderate degree of comparability across the two populations for the Grade 7 Numeracy FSA scores because two out of the four analyses showed them to be highly comparable.

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