Melissa A. Durst



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Legislative mandates such as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top have emphasized an educational paradigm shift- effective teaching is defined by demonstrating student growth within a content area. Data is gathered and analyzed yearly, and now the results can impact teacher evaluations, hiring decisions, or teacher dismissal processes. Standardized testing is one of the most common ways of assessing students. This gives a clear and coherent view of student growth over a specific period of time. There are numerous other means to assess student growth, however, and to achieve the most efficient and effective evaluation, multiple assessments should be considered. Evaluating teacher effectiveness can include classroom observations, portfolios, student surveys, classroom artifacts, and performances. Non-tested subjects, such as music, are also under the same requirements to measure student growth to measure teacher effectiveness. However, there is no national or even state-wide assessment that is currently recognized and accepted for measuring student growth. Music teachers are responsible for teaching âknowledgeâ- a belief or consensus of fact; and âskillsâ- the aptitude for performing a specific task.This thesis specifically examines the following questions:1.How should the growth of music students in grades six through eight in the state of Ohio be effectively assessed?; and2.How should the effectiveness of grades six through eight music teachers in the state of Ohio be determined?Utilizing multiple, standards-based assessments, such as portfolios, performances, observations, and pretest/posttest models, student growth can be effectively and efficiently measured for students in the state of Ohio in grades six through eight. Teacher assessments in the state of Ohio should include evidence of a teacherâs capacity to plan lessons, establish a healthy learning environment, utilize best teaching practices, and create and maintain opportunities for professional growth.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Linda A. Hartley

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project

Assessing Growth of Grades Six Through Eight Ohio Music Students and the Effectiveness of their Teachers