Hi John. Thank you for your response! I definitely agree with you that the meaning of statewide test results is questionable. For the purpose of the research study, I think the authors wanted a standardized way to differentiate the high-performing and low-performing schools in their sample. In their paper, the authors go into a bit more detail on how they identified these high- and low-performing schools before conducting the rest of the research on school climate, instruction, etc. But you bring up an excellent point about the issues with state test scores being used as a measure of school effectiveness.