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ERIC Number: ED555910
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 106
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3035-3353-2
The Influence of Ability Grouping on Math Achievement in a Rural Middle School
Pritchard, Robert R.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Seton Hall University
The researcher examined the academic performance of low-tracked students (n = 156) using standardized math test scores to determine whether there is a statistically significant difference in achievement depending on academic environment, tracked or nontracked. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) was calculated, using a paired samples t-test for a single cohort as both low- and high-tracked students were reorganized from heterogeneous course assignments in Grades 6 and 7 to an ability-grouped assignment in Grade 8. The researcher conducted a non-experimental study to analyze the influence of tracking on the academic achievement of non-accelerated students as measured by Grade 8 standardized math scores. The researcher analyzed the data using a longitudinal explanatory design. The data used were the NYSTP Math scores for a single cohort over a three-year period in Grades 6 through 8. An analysis of the data revealed that sorting the students into two groups for the purposes of math instruction--accelerated and standard curriculum--did not have a positive influence on math achievement for either group. The lower-tracked students demonstrated statistically significant decreases (p<.05) in performance on standardized math testing when assigned to a non-accelerated course of instruction. Furthermore, the pattern of declining math achievement for economically disadvantaged students enrolled in a tracked environment is significantly greater than the pattern of decline when compared to the group as a whole. In this instance, low SES students do not have the same access to a high quality curriculum as their wealthier peers. This puts students who are already in crisis at an even greater disadvantage. At a time when offering greater resources to low SES students would benefit them the most, these students are assigned to a lower-tracked instructional grouping. The findings of this study support the elimination of a tracked academic environment for middle schools endeavoring to improve the achievement of academically at-risk students. [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 6; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools; Elementary Education; Grade 7; Junior High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A