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ERIC Number: ED515039
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 140
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1097-2273-4
Three Essays on Grade Configuration, Academic Achievement, and the Gender Gap
Parekh, Charles
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, New York University
This dissertation is comprised of three essays exploring the performance of students on standardized tests in public schools. Since the passage of the "No Child Left Behind Act" (NCLB) in 2002, public schools have been subject to penalties for poor student achievement. In particular, NCLB requires states to measure reading and math test scores annually for students in grades 3-8 and one high school grade in order to receive federal school funding. The three essays presented in this dissertation relate to the federal testing mandate by exploring aspects of student test score performance in public schools. The first paper analyzes the performance of sixth grade students enrolled in different elementary and middle school grade configurations in New York City. Because rearranging school grade configuration may not require the hiring of new teachers and the construction of new school buildings, it is a feasible, relatively less expensive policy instrument compared to others to employ when attempting to increase test scores. The second paper explores differences in the performance trajectories of boys and girls--and different racial and ethnic subgroups within the genders--as they progress through elementary and middle schools in New York City by addressing differences in the pace of learning between boys and girls. If boys and girls mature, in an academic sense, at different points in their childhood, then blanket policies of school configuration could affect boys differently than they affect girls. The third paper looks at high school test scores for eighth graders who attended differently configured schools and follows on the first paper by exploring questions about the transition to high schools. The NELS-88, a national survey of students, teachers, parents, and administrators is used for this analysis. Because we learn that some schools configurations are associated with increased test scores in the elementary and middle grades, we explore whether these improvements persist as high school outcomes as well. I find that there is no difference in the achievement of twelfth graders contingent on their eighth grade school's configuration. [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:
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001