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ERIC Number: ED529220
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 131
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1246-4946-7
The Relationship of Academic Achievement and Duration of Placement in Alternative Education Programming
Elias, Janilyn
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Widener University
Education agencies are driven by the need to remove disruptive and dangerous students from classrooms without suspending or expelling them to home or the streets (Bear, 1998). As stated in the National Association of State Boards of Education (1994), the term "alternative education" refers to nontraditional educational services ranging from separate schools for students who have been expelled to unique classes offered in a general education school building. Although the phrase might refer to any type of program that differs from traditional public schooling, it is commonly used in reference to programs designed for youth with challenging behavior (NASBE, 1994). While alternative education may offer an option that engages students and provides a more successful school experience, the likelihood of increased graduation rate has been largely unexamined. This study analyzed the correlation of students' time spent in an alternative educational setting with their achievement scores (based on data from PSSA state standardized exams) and information gathered from a survey for teachers and administrators relating to the effectiveness of alternative education and the rate in which students return to a public school setting after being in an alternative education setting. The survey was adapted from the Alternative Education Disruptive Youth survey. Quantitative data was gathered from standardized assessments, specifically PSSA. A regression test was performed to determine if there was a correlation between the time spent in an alternative education program (independent variable) and the change in PSSA math scores (dependent variable). Only 1% of the variation in changes in PSSA math scores was explained by the amount of time spent in an alternative education program. None of the variation in changes in PSSA reading scores was explained by the amount of time spent in an alternative education program. Even when separating the data from each school only a small percent of the variation in changes in PSSA scores was explained by the amount of time spent in an alternative education program. This indicated that the differences between alternative education programs at the two schools used in this study had little significance to the resulting changes in PSSA test scores. The survey data indicated the major goal for sending students to an alternative education program was to serve students needing short-term remediation for academic and behavioral needs and to prepare them to return to regular education. Once in alternative education, staff stated the main objective of the program was to support regular education students, as long as they require the program, with the expectation that they will return to a regular education program in order to graduate with a regular high school diploma. The respondents used the PSSA as the main assessment tool to measure academic success for the students in an alternative education program. The respondents did want the students to improve in academic and social/behavioral skills while in an alternative setting. However, if they had to choose between academic success and behavior success, they chose behavioral success. [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: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A