assessment, formative assessment, progress monitoring, FCAT, Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, reading, mathematics, predict achievement, benchmark assessment, high school, secondary school, tenth grade, administrative best practices, administrative strategies, data teams, collaborative teams, culture, professional development, correlation of reading to mathematics assessment scores, accountability, principal practices, principal best practices, subgroups, standardized test, leadership, effective leadership strategies, reading proficiency, reading proficiency as an indicator of academic achievement


The focus of this research was to investigate the use of a district created formative benchmark assessment in reading to predict student achievement for 10th-grade students on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) in one county in north central Florida. The purpose of the study was to provide information to high school principals and teachers to better understand how students were performing and learning and to maximize use of the formative district benchmark assessment in order to modify instruction and positively impact student achievement. This study expanded a prior limited study which correlated district benchmark assessment scores to FCAT scores for students in grades three through five in five elementary schools in the targeted county. The high correlations suggested further study. This research focused on secondary reading, specifically in 10th grade where both state and targeted county FCAT scores were low in years preceding this research. Investigated were (a) the district formative assessment in reading as a predictor of FCAT Reading scores, (b) differences in strength of correlation and prediction among student subgroups and between high schools, and (c) any relationships between reading formative assessment scores and Mathematics FCAT scores. An additional focus of this study was to determine best leadership practices in schools where there were the highest correlations between the formative assessment and FCAT Reading scores. Research on best practices was reviewed, and principals were interviewed to determine trends and themes in practice. Tenth grade students in the seven Florida targeted district high schools were included in the study. The findings of the study supported the effective use of formative assessments both in instruction and as predictors of students' performance on the FCAT. The results of the study also showed a significant correlation between performance on the reading formative assessment and performance on FCAT Mathematics. The data indicated no significant differences in the strength of correlation between student subgroups or between the high schools included in the study. Additionally, the practices of effective principals in using formative assessment data to inform instruction, gathered through personal interviews, were documented and described.


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Graduation Date



Taylor, Rosemarye


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Educational Research, Technology, and Leadership

Degree Program









Release Date

August 2010

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

Included in

Education Commons