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  1. In the United States, national and state standardized assessments have become a metric for measuring student learning and high-quality learning environments. As the COVID- 19 pandemic offered a multitude of learning modalities (e.g., hybrid, socially distanced face-to-face instruction, virtual environment), it becomes critical to examine how this learning disruption influenced elementary mathematic performance. This study tested for differences in mathematics performance on fourth grade standardized tests before and during COVID-19 in a case study of a rural Ohio school district using the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) mathematics test. A two-way ANOVA showed that fourth- grade MAP mathematics scores were statistically similar for the 2019 pre-COVID cohort (n = 31) and 2020 COVID-19 cohort (n = 82), and by gender group, between Fall 2019 and Fall 2020. Implications for rural students’ academic performance in virtual learning environments are discussed. 
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  2. This study presents qualitative findings from a larger instrument validation study. Undergraduates and subject matter experts (SMEs) were pivotal in early-stage development of a survey focusing on the four domains of Validation Theory (academic-in-class, academic-out-of-class, interpersonal-in-class, interpersonal-out-of-class). An iterative approach allowed for a more rigorously constructed survey refined through multiple phases. The research team met regularly to determine how feedback from undergraduates and SMEs could improve items and if certain populations were potentially being excluded. To date, the research team has expanded on the original 47 items up to 51 to address feedback provided by SMEs and undergraduate participants. Numerous item wording revisions have been made. Support for content, response process, and consequential validity evidence is strong. 
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  3. Existing literature has established that interpersonal and academic validating experiences help provide college students with the necessary personal and scholastic skillsets to thrive in higher education (e.g., Coronella, 2018; Ekal et al., 2011). This intrinsic mixed methods case study explores the extent to which undergraduate students perceived academic and interpersonal validation within a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) pipeline program (CMSP) can empower students and influence their attitudes towards their learning environment. 
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  4. Olanoff, D ; Johnson, K. ; Spitzer, S (Ed.)
    Administrators, educators, and stakeholders have faced the dilemma of determining the most effective type of data for informing instruction for quite some time (Pella, 2015). While the type of standardized assessment a teacher gives during instruction is often set at the district or state level, teachers often have autonomy in the formative and summative assessments that serve as the day-to-day tools in assessing a student’s progress (Abrams et al., 2016). Choices about in-class assessment and instruction are building blocks towards a student’s success on standardized assessments. The purpose of this phenomenological qualitative study is to explore how 4th-8th grade math teachers’ preparation and instructional practices are influenced by the types of assessments administered to their students in one school. Research questions are as follows: (a) How do 4th-8th grade math teachers describe the math assessments they use? (b) How do 4th-8th grade math teachers adjust their instructional practices as a result of their students completing formative, summative, and standardized math assessments? 
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  5. Olanoff, D ; Johnson, K. ; Spitzer, S (Ed.)
    A way to evaluate an assessment’s worth is in its contributions to student learning (Cronbach, 1988). “Classrooms are complex social environments. Economic, language, cultural, and mental health issues are just some of the key variables that need to be considered in relation to students [learning]” (Leighton, 2020, p. 27). Teachers provide a unique influence on their students’ learning through their beliefs, content knowledge, and pedagogical content knowledge (Brookhart, 2003). A classroom’s social context is an area where teacher-created assessments differ from externally-developed standardized assessments. One goal of standardized testing is to eliminate psychometric noise like social contexts by attempting to account for factors not related to the construct being measured (AERA et al., 2014). On the other hand, teacher-created assessments are contextually relevant as they are developed with certain students in mind (Brookhart, 2003). Teacher-created assessments are more likely to align with a unique social context of a classroom. The purpose of this study is to explore middle grades math teachers assessment practices and impact on student learning. 
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  6. In the United States, national and state standardized assessments have become a metric for measuring student learning and high-quality learning environments. As the COVID- 19 pandemic offered a multitude of learning modalities (e.g., hybrid, socially distanced face-to-face instruction, virtual environment), it becomes critical to examine how this learning disruption influenced elementary mathematic performance. This study tested for differences in mathematics performance on fourth grade standardized tests before and during COVID-19 in a case study of a rural Ohio school district using the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) mathematics test. A two-way ANOVA showed that fourth- grade MAP mathematics scores were statistically similar for the 2019 pre-COVID cohort (n = 31) and 2020 COVID-19 cohort (n = 82), and by gender group, between Fall 2019 and Fall 2020. Implications for rural students’ academic performance in virtual learning environments are discussed. 
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  7. Olanoff, D ; Johnson, K. ; Spitzer, S (Ed.)
    The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged onward over the last year and has greatly impacted student learning. An average student is predicted to fall behind approximately seven months academically; however, this learning gap predicts Latinx and Black students will fall behind by 9 and 10 months, respectively (Seiden, 2020). Moreover, the shift to online instruction impacted students’ ability to learn as they encountered new stressors, anxiety, illness, and the pandemic’s psychological effects (Middleton, 2020). Despite the unprecedented circumstances that students were precipitously thrust into, state testing and assessments continue. Assessments during the pandemic are likely to produce invalid results due to “test pollution,” which refers to the systemic “increase or decrease in test scores unrelated to the content domain” (Middleton, 2020, p. 2). Considering the global pandemic, test pollution is prominent and worth exploring as it is uncertain whether state testing can identify the impact COVID is having on student learning. 
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