Four Decades of Educational Assessment and Program Evaluation

IBRIC has designed and executed numerous evaluations of major educational programs, and we have created and implemented many educational assessment systems for the state of Utah and for school districts.

Utah Statewide Educational Assessment

The Utah Statewide Educational Assessment Program (SEAP) was the first major program evaluation project completed by IBRIC in a cooperative effort with the Utah State Office of Education (USOE). Begun in 1975, SEAP was designed to provide the citizens of Utah and professional educators with information about the effectiveness of public education statewide. SEAP was conducted every three years for fifteen years, testing about 8,000 students each time. Statewide Assessment measured a broad range of student outcomes and attitudes that the educational system works to foster. Outcome assessments were augmented with measurement of key factors descriptive of conditions and educational procedures that influence or are associated with student outcomes. Included was IBRIC's Educational Process Questionnaire (e.g., teacher emphasis on reinforcement of self-concept, development of career talents, etc.) and other variables such as school size and estimates of student SES.

Utah Statewide Testing Program

For over twelve years, starting in 1990, IBRIC provided yearly statistical analysis and reporting for Utah's Statewide Testing Program (STP). IBRIC merged school and district level aggregated achievement test results with socioeconomic data from Title One files to generate feedback reports for schools and districts with the effects of SES held constant. The accountability reports thus allowed comparisons among schools and districts on a fair basis. The last year of SEAP gave IBRIC the opportunity to statistically model the process and verify the feasibility of the STP procedures.

Evaluation of Reading Instruction

IBRIC was given the opportunity to help schools implement reading instructional techniques based on scientific research. In 1999, IBRIC assisted USOE in their submission of a proposal for a Reading Excellence Act grant to help improve the reading skills of students in kindergarten through third grade. Utah was awarded the grant, and IBRIC became the evaluator for the state. USOE and IBRIC developed a set of sophisticated observational measures for this reading project. The observation system has been adopted by other states as they have implemented reading programs in their schools.

Examples of Other Educational Program Evaluations

  • In a two year study, IBRIC evaluated the Jordan School District Accelerated Learning Program for Students (ALPS) through extensive surveys and interviews of teachers, administrators, and parents. Based on the results of the project, the district implemented several policy and procedural changes aimed at strengthening the ALPS program.

  • During 2001 and 2002, IBRIC evaluated Utah's Professional Outreach Program in Schools for USOE. In-depth reactions of teachers, students, and administrators in all 40 Utah school districts to arts (e.g., performances by the Utah Regional Ballet and the Utah Symphony) and science programs presented to public schools were studied.

  • IBRIC constructed an extensive system for measuring level of implementation during its effort to evaluate the Comprehensive Guidance program in Utah public middle and senior high schools. Measurement included examination of student attitudes and test scores, teacher and administrator reports, and extensive information gathered from counselors.

Utah Core Assessment Test Series

In 1986 IBRIC began another major effort for the Utah State Office of Education, the construction of ten criterion-referenced test series that made up a significant portion of Utah's Core Assessment Program. This project lasted for fourteen years, ending in 1999. For this project IBRIC created thousands of test items and hundreds of forms for elementary and secondary level mathematics, reading, and science.

Over the fifteen year period of its existence, IBRIC was the contracting evaluator for Utah's Statewide Educational Assessment Program. IBRIC recently evaluated the state's implementation of treatment under the Reading Excellence Act.

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