Bottge, Colleagues Receive National Assessment Award

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 1, 2011) – The National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME) will honor a group of researchers, including the University of Kentucky College of Education's Brian Bottge, for its work in the development of a statistical method for measuring the growth of students' problem-solving skills in mathematics. The foursome will receive the 2010-2011 Award for an Outstanding Example of an Application of Educational Measurement Technology to a Specific Problem from the NCME at its annual conference in April.

[IMAGE1]"I am very fortunate to work with such talented colleagues," said Bottge, the William T. Bryan Endowed Chair in Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling. "Our partnership has enabled us to address some of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel recommendations of designing assessment tools that are more sensitive to new forms of instruction."

Sun-Joo Cho, assistant professor of psychology and human development at Vanderbilt University, along with Seock-Ho Kim and Allan Cohen, professors at the University of Georgia, are using Bottge's research with Enhanced Anchored Instruction (EAI) to describe how item-level changes can be measured. Bottge and his colleagues specially designed EAI as a way for developing math skills of low-achieving adolescents, including students with learning disabilities in math.

Cohen said that current methods for detecting growth of students' skills in math by score-level analysis might fail to reflect subtle changes that might be evident at the item level. This new statistical method enables researchers to simultaneously measure both the different ways that students can reason about individual questions on a mathematics test as well as their overall growth in mathematics ability.

This year the new method will be used to help test the efficacy of EAI in a large-scale study using a pretest-posttest cluster-randomized design. Bottge is the principal investigator of the grant, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences Cognition and Student Learning in Special Education. The first study is being conducted this year and includes 49 special education teachers and 407 students with learning disabilities in math in 67 resource rooms distributed across 31 Kentucky middle schools. For more information on Bottge's study visit

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