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ERIC Number: ED515937
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 148
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-6331-0
The Impact of Career Academy Programs on Student Achievement in a New Jersey Urban High School
Ahmad, Abdul-Azeem
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Wilmington University (Delaware)
The Talent Development High School (TDHS) reform model, with career academy programs, was introduced at Randolph High School. Three academies were implemented, one called the Arts and Humanities Academy (A&H) focused on careers in creative arts, law, and public service; another titled the Business and Industrial Technology Academy (BAIT) was designed for career interests in manufacturing, business, and computer technology; while the Math Science and Medical Academy (MSM) was for students interested in the medical field, engineering, and construction trades. A number of educational processes also changed. For instance, instructional time for classes doubled, extensive professional development for staff; instructional practices changed for teaching in an extended period; data were regularly analyzed; student and staff successes were often celebrated. The purpose of this study was to determine if career academy programs at a large urban high school significantly influenced student achievement, as measured by 2008 NJ HSPA scores, controlling for 2005 NJ GEPA scores. The influence of student membership in a Career Academy, and other student variables such as educational classification, gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status had on student performance on the 2008 NJ HSPA were also examined. This study undertook a formal assessment of the impact of the TDHS reform model on student achievement. Archival 2008 NJ HSPA data were obtained from eleventh grade students who were originally enrolled as freshman during the initial implementation of TDHS program at Randolph High School and remained in their original Career Academy throughout their 10th and 11th grade school years. A causal-comparative research design was used for examining how Randolph High School's TDHS Career Academy programs influenced the performance of students within each of the academies. Data pertaining to student achievement by academy, along with consideration of students' educational classification, gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status were analyzed. Statistically significant differences in language arts and mathematics achievement existed among students in Career Academy programs and subgroup classifications. Overall in Randolph High School, there were significant difference in the achievement of general education and special education students, as well as limited English proficient students in language arts literacy and mathematics. The female students outperformed male students in both language arts and mathematics. No significant differences in HSPA Language Arts scores among the three academies were found, however there were significant differences in HSPA Mathematic scores related to Career Academy placement. Students in the BAIT Academy scored highest on the HSPA Mathematics and their scores were significantly different from students in the MSM Academy, but not from the students in the A&H Academy As many studies of urban high schools have shown, the findings from Randolph High suggest gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status influence student performance on standardized assessments. In this instance, the academy model of school reform seemed to work well for language arts, in that no significant differences in language arts performance across Randolph High School's three academies were found. The differences in mathematics performance discovered among the three academics were somewhat counterintuitive in that the MSM students expected to perform highest in mathematics earned the lowest HSPA Mathematics scores. Further research is needed to better understand why the students in the MSM Academy were underperforming in mathematics. The recommendations for additional research include mixed methodology studies comprised of observations, interviews, and surveys; including interrupted time-series studies for evaluating multiple years of achievement data. [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: Grade 10; Grade 11; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey