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ERIC Number: ED548958
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 228
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2677-4109-7
A Comparative Analysis of Grade Span Configurations and Academic Achievement among 6-8 and K-8 Public Schools in Texas
Clark, David M.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Sam Houston State University
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of grade span configurations on academic achievement in middle and K-8 public schools in the state of Texas. More specifically, academic achievement was examined and compared between two different school settings (i.e., middle schools and K-8 schools) for sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students. Academic achievement was measured by assessing the passing rates of students in Grades 6, 7, and 8 on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills Mathematics, Reading, Science, Social Studies, and Writing assessments for the 2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2008-2009, 2009-2010, and 2010-2011 school years. Method: In this study the research design was causal-comparative. Participants consisted of 628 Texas schools comprising 314 middle schools and 314 K-8 schools distributed across the 5 school years examined. To conduct dependent statistical analyses on student achievement data for the campuses, K-8 schools were matched to middle schools using a rigorous distance-based formula. This distance-based formula controlled for the following campus variables: school size, percent of African American students, percent of Hispanic students, percent of White students, percent of students with low socioeconomic status, and campus mobility rates. Correlation matrices conducted after the matching process to validate the similarity between the paired campuses revealed statistically significant correlations in 57% of the six correlated variables over the 5 school years examined. As a result, campus compositions were statistically relevant between the two groups. Findings: Regardless of the grade, subject, or year examined, students who were enrolled in K-8 schools had higher average passing rates on the 5 TAKS assessments than did students enrolled in middle schools. Of the 45 statistical analyses performed, 22 statistically significant findings were revealed. Of the 22 statistically significant findings in this study, 1 yielded a large effect size, 16 yielded moderate effect sizes, and 5 yielded small effect sizes. In addition, in mathematics, all 3 effect sizes were small, compared to reading, where all 10 effect sizes were either moderate or large (Cohen, 1988). For the 9 effect sizes in the subject areas of writing, science, and social studies, all were small to moderate. [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: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; Grade 6; Intermediate Grades; Elementary Education; Grade 7; Grade 8
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas