This report examines a Massachusetts pilot program for quarterly benchmark exams in middle-school mathematics, finding that program schools do not show greater gains in student achievement after a year. But that finding might reflect limited data rather than ineffective benchmark assessments.
A Second Follow-up Year for Measuring how Benchmark Assessments Affect Student Achievement This REL Technical Brief examines whether, after two years of implementation, schools in Massachusetts using quarterly benchmark exams aligned with state standards in middle school mathematics showed greater gains in student achievement than those not doing so. A quasi-experimental design, using covariate matching and comparative interrupted time-series techniques, was used to assess school differences in changes in mathematics performance between program and comparison schools. Following up on an earlier Issues & Answers report, with just one year of post-implementation data, the study found no significant differences between schools using this practice and those not doing so after two years.