The relationship between the Indiana Standards Tool for Alternate Reporting (ISTAR) and the Graduation Qualifying Examination (GQE)

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Marra, Robert A.
Merbler, John B.
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Thesis (D. Ed.)
Department of Educational Leadership
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This study examined the relationship between Indiana's Graduate Qualifying Examination (GQE), a criterion referenced assessment which is a part of the general educational assessment and Indiana's alternate assessment, the Indiana Standards Tool for Alternate Reporting (ISTAR), a teacher rating assessment. The study utilized ISTAR ratings and GQE scores for three years (2003-2005). These data were derived from a secondary data source, the student test number (STN) database at the Indiana Department of Education. Use of the STN protects the confidentiality of personally identifiable information are, protects the confidentiality of students. All students in the study participated in both the GQE and ISTAR assessments. The Pearson correlation coefficient was used to determine the relationship between GQE scores and ISTAR ratings. The results of the Pearson correlation coefficient were mixed. Overall when all students were included in the sample, the relationships were stronger than when only students with disabilities were included in the sample. When only 10th grade students with disabilities were included in the sample for two years, 2003 and 2004, no significant correlation was found in the domain of English/language arts. With a larger sample size in 2005, a significant correlation between GQE scores and ISTAR ratings for 10th grade students with disabilities was determined (r = .31). In the domain of mathematics, all correlations were shown to be significant for both all students and students with disabilities. Even though some evidence of validity was demonstrated, the present study does not provide enough data to make definitive determinations regarding the validity of ISTAR ratings. Additional years of data are needed before any judgments regarding the ratings yielded from the ISTAR instrument can be made. The current study provides a base for future ongoing validation studies.