Consequences of Introducing Educational Testing in Northern Ireland, 1973-1977 (ICPSR 7790)

Published: Jun 4, 2010

Principal Investigator(s):
Peter W. Airasian; George F. Madaus; Thomas Kellaghan

Version V2

This dataset includes test scores for over 40,000 students in 175 Irish primary schools that were selected and randomly assigned to a variety of testing treatments as part of a four-year study. The goal of this research effort was to assess the effects of standardized tests and test results on teachers, students, and parents, as well as on school policy. Northern Ireland was chosen because of its developed educational system (in which the English language is used) and its prior lack of standardized testing. During the course of this study, three main testing treatments were implemented in all classrooms in each primary school: (1) no testing was done, (2) norm referenced ability and attainment testing was done in basic curricular areas (English, Irish, and mathematics), but pupil performance data were not returned to the teachers, and (3) norm referenced ability and attainment testing was done, and pupils' raw scores, percentiles, and standard scores were returned to teachers. This dataset contains the norm referenced test scores gathered over the course of the four-year study for each of eight primary age-group cohorts. Parts 1-6 contain scores from students who were in grades 1-6, respectively, during the first year of the study. Part 7 contains scores from students who were in grade 2 in the fourth (last) year of the study, and Part 8 contains the scores from students who were in grade 3 during the last year of the study. Background variables for each student (e.g., treatment group, school type, sex served by school, location of school, size of school, type of administration of school, school identification number, and student's sex) are also included.

Airasian, Peter W., Madaus, George F., and Kellaghan, Thomas. Consequences of Introducing Educational Testing in Northern Ireland, 1973-1977. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-06-04.

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Carnegie Corporation (NIEG-003-214)

Russell Sage Foundation

Spencer Foundation

United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare

National Institute of Education

1973 -- 1977

1973 -- 1977

The codebook for this dataset contains detailed descriptions of the sampling procedure, the kinds of tests given, the various treatment groups, the chronology of the testing procedure over four years, and highlights of the analysis of the effects of the testing on all groups in the study.

A nationwide random sample of 175 primary schools was stratified by size and location, and schools were randomly assigned to a variety of testing treatments.

Primary schools in the Republic of Ireland.

standardized test scores

experimental data



2010-06-04 SAS, SPSS, and Stata setups have been added to this data collection.

2006-01-18 File CB7790.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.

1984-05-03 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

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