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ERIC Number: ED542614
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 172
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2673-7284-0
Accountability and Pennsylvania High Schools: Using a Value-Added Model to Identify, Quantify, and Track School Improvement
Davies, Todd Matthew
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Lehigh University
This dissertation investigates the prevailing No Child Left Behind (NCLB) mandate as an effective platform to improve schools. The data compiled for use in this study represented 426 high schools in Pennsylvania and were retrieved from publicly accessible, state-sponsored sources. The statistical methodologies from the Pennsylvania Value-Added Assessment System (PVAAS) quantified the dependent measure as the 2010 Average Growth Index (AGI) in both Mathematics and Reading for each high school. The independent measure was each high school's School Improvement Classification (SIC). In this study, the SIC became a modification of each high school's NCLB school improvement status (ultimately determined by the number of consecutive years a school Made or Missed predefined Adequate Yearly Progress [AYP] targets). A one-way ANOVA began the statistical analyses and detected significant differences among mean PVAAS scores across School Improvement Classification in both Mathematics and Reading. Post hoc analyses revealed that the 2010 Making Progress group outperformed other groups "Needing Improvement," thereby supporting the second research hypothesis in both content areas. However, the 2010 Making Progress group, as a whole, was unable to sustain its performance from 2010 to 2011, thus rejecting the final research hypothesis in both content areas. The literature pertaining to the use of value-added methodologies (VAM) in public education generally describes the methodology used by PVAAS as an improvement over the existing, cross-sectional methodology to quantify school performance. Consistent with this viewpoint, the scores in Mathematics behaved in a somewhat predictable manner throughout all statistical tests. However, the Reading PVAAS scores acted erratically, thus raising questions regarding the precision of VAM and the overarching legitimacy of its use to evaluate a school's effectiveness. From these findings, additional validation studies are recommended before relying solely on VAM to determine school performance. The question remains as to whether the current system of external accountability in education is working, or whether the system is largely ineffective and quite possibly hampering improvement, especially in those schools where improvement is most needed. This manuscript concludes with recommendations for practice and further research. [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 - Location: Pennsylvania
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001