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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The northern Saskatchewan norms project : obtaining Northern Lights School Division norms on group tests of scholastic achievement and ability Tomusiak, Raymond Frank


The purpose of the present study was to develop regional norms on tests of scholastic achievement and ability. The tests considered for norming were the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests -Canadian Edition, the Canadian Tests of Basic Skills Mathematics or Mathematics Computation subtests, and the Otis Lennon School Ability Test. The region of interest was that under the jurisdiction of the Northern Lights School Division (NLSD) in northern Saskatchewan. The rationale for obtaining regional norms was based on the premise that the NLSD population is largely atypical of the national school population with respect to salient characteristics affecting academic performance. Regional norms accompanying national norms would enhance the interpretation of test scores for educational decision-making by providing another important perspective by which to examine the scores. Furthermore, the dual norming of achievement and ability tests would provide for useful diagnostic information of NLSD students as the normative data would be built upon equivalent scales of measurement. The tests were administered to 70 to 92 percent of students in four grades and four age levels within the Northern Lights School Division. The grades assessed were three, five, seven, and nine; age levels assessed were 9 years 0 months to 9 years 5 months, 11 years 0 months to 11 years 5 months, 14 years 0 months to 14 years 5 months, and 16 years 0 months to 16 years 5 months. The assessment period occurred in the fall of 1982. Statistical tests comparing the means of the NLSD groups to means or medians of the national standardization samples revealed the NLSD groups scored significantly lower than the national samples in all cases. Futhermore, examination of the NLSD test score distributions at points corresponding to the national 1.0th, 20th, 50th, and 80th percentiles exposed large differences between the NLSD and national distributions. Results of item analysis revealed the tests to be good discriminatory and reliable measures of NLSD student performance. Based on item analysis, the large majority of test items were regarded as having fair to very good values of difficulty and discrimination. Finally, correlational analyses showed strong relationships between achievement scores and ability scores within all groups. As a result of the preceding findings, regional norm tables were constructed for each test for seven of the eight groups. These consisted of percentile ranks, stanines, and T-scores associated with raw scores. Tables of derived scores were not established for the 16 year old group as the sample number was considered too low for useful percentile information.

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