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ERIC Number: ED513002
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 155
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1092-4838-8
Crossing the Line: Longitudinal Examination of Elementary Schools with Declining Academic Performance Using Latent Growth Model Analysis
Hochbein, Craig D.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Virginia
The process by which schools decline over time has not received the same media or scholarly attention as school improvement. The imperative to improve chronically low-performing schools has led educators, policymakers, and researchers to tinker with school reforms without fully understating how and why failure developed in the first place. Deductive rationale and commonsense explanations supplanted confirmed factors or processes responsible for school decline. This study is an attempt to increase the understanding of the school decline process through examination of the rate of decline, as well as potential demographic factors associated with declining schools. Latent growth models (LGM) were applied to two samples of schools identified as declining. The Relational Decline sample consisted of schools with diminished margins between their English/language arts (ELA) pass rate and the state average ELA pass rate. The second sample, consisting of Crossing the Line schools, earned an above average ELA pass rates in 2003 and below average ELA pass rate in 2008. The size of the 5th grade populations, the female to male student ratio, the percentage of students identified as economically disadvantaged (SED), the percentage of students identified with disabilities (SD), and the percentage of students with limited English proficiency (SLEP) were input into time-variant predictor models to assess the association with declining schools. Comparison of unconditional and conditional LGMs suggested declining schools exhibited linear performance decline coupled with quadratic improvements. Results from the LGMs indicated that only the percentage of SED was consistently and significantly associated with school decline. However, the relationship between the slope of the SED population and the slope of ELA pass rates was not as large as the relationship between the concentration of SED and initial ELA pass rates. Depending on model and sample, the initial percentage or changes in the percentage of the other demographic factors also demonstrated possible associations with the decline process, but no consistent patterns were detected. From the methodology and results of this study, insights and recommendations about how to prevent and study school decline are offered to educators, policymakers, and researchers. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A