GOSA Releases 2012 Spring EOCT Analysis Results

February 20, 2013

The Governor's Office of Student Achievement (GOSA) today released the results of the spring 2012 End-of-Course Test (EOCT) erasure analysis.  GOSA partnered with NCS Pearson, Inc., the state's testing vendor in charge of developing and scoring EOCT exams to conduct a comprehensive examination of all statewide EOCT answer documents for core classes in grades 9 through 12.  The analysis focused on the number of wrong answers that had been changed to right answers on individual student answer sheets in the following subjects: Ninth Grade Literature, American Literature, Economics, US History, GPS Algebra, GPS Geometry, Math I, Math II, Physical Science, and Biology.

“The analysis looked at test takers across all subject areas in which an EOCT was administered and provided a clear picture of typical student test behavior against which all schools could be compared,” said GOSA Executive Director, Bonnie Holliday. “While the state has conducted similar analyses at the elementary and middle school levels since 2009, this is the first erasure analysis to include high school exams. The dedicated efforts of local school leaders are positively reflected in the 2012 EOCT erasure analysis results.”

In the analysis, Pearson psychometricians scanned answer documents to identify total erasures per classroom, flagging those classrooms in which the number of wrong-to-right (w-t-r) changes proved to be three standard deviations (SDs) or more above the state average.  Pearson employed the same methodology used on past analyses of the Criterion Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) to identify classrooms with higher than normal erasures and w-t-r erasures.

"The results of this analysis illustrate the commitment of local districts to improving test security, not only in the elementary and middle schools, but also in the high schools," said GOSA's Data and Accountability Manager, Adrian Neely.  "Having valid and reliable data to guide important decisions is paramount."

Based on the analysis, EOCT answer documents were examined first by school, and with special focus given to individual classrooms.  During the 2012 EOCT administration, 90% of students did not have an answer changed from wrong to right.  Approximately 96% of the schools either had less than 10% of their classrooms flagged; or fewer than 5 of their classrooms flagged.  67% of schools were not flagged in any subjects.  68 of 593 schools had at least 1 classroom flagged for WtR erasures for at least 10% of their classrooms. 

Recommendations on which the State Board of Education will vote will include requiring local Superintendents to conduct internal investigations, identified by GOSA as requiring additional information, to determine the causes of testing irregularities.    

The EOCT is a standardized assessment of core subjects at the high school level.  The test is designed to measure the acquisition of specific content knowledge and skills of the Georgia curriculum standards. Additionally, the EOCT is part of Georgia's high school accountability assessment as part of the College and Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI).  It is critical that reported scores are an accurate representation of students' knowledge and skills as important decisions are based on student EOCT test data.

The Governor's Office of Student Achievement serves as the reporting and accountability agency for education in Georgia.  As such, GOSA is charged by law with inspecting academic records of schools to ensure that education institutions are faithful to performance accountability requirements.  Through an academic audit, GOSA reviews student assessment data and other school records reported to the State to confirm accuracy and explore the effectiveness of local initiatives in improving achievement.