Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education, Doctoral Program

First Advisor

Mindes, Gayle

Second Advisor

McCullough, Chris

Third Advisor

Hamlin, Steve


The research on the potential relationship of the Northwest Evaluation Association's Measures of Academic Progress (NWEA MAP) and the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) was conducted in two phases and focused on middle schools with a grade configuration of 6-8 in the state of Illinois. The first phase of the research examined whether or not a significant relationship existed between NWEA MAP test participation by middle schools in Illinois, and ISAT growth over time. A total of 86 schools were involved in the research associated with Phase 1. The second phase of the study aimed to find out if the NWEA members' self-reported level of data-driven decision making practices was associated with ISAT growth over time. An original data-driven decision making (DDDM) survey was employed to measure the use of data-driven decision making practices at each middle school selected for the study. The DDDM survey questions were created based on the major recommendations that are found in the book Data Wise (Boudett, 2005a). For each of the 8 major Data Wise recommendations, one question was formed to measure the level of implementation for each school. A total of 31 of the 43 identified principals participated in the study, for a return rate of 72%. Ultimately, this quantitative research failed to reject both of the null hypotheses. However, the DDDM survey did illuminate a discrepancy in the reported implementation level of Assessment Literacy compared to the other 7 survey questions. Recommendations for future research include conducting an in-depth study of a few schools that have a proven record of rapid growth, in an attempt to distill the specific factors that allow certain NWEA member schools to experience success. A second approach would be to follow a cohort of schools from the implementation stage with NWEA through the first few years of use, attempting to identify the decisions and actions that lead to measurable growth. Finally, deciphering which terms and processes are crucial to an effective understanding of assessment literacy could also prove beneficial to the broader educational community.