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ERIC Number: ED569447
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 142
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3039-1219-1
Middle School Configuration Relationship with Eighth Grade Achievement with Administrator Perceptions of Strengths and Weaknesses
Billings, Tawny J.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Azusa Pacific University
This mixed-method research study sought to investigate the relationship between middle school configuration and the academic achievement of eighth grade students in English Language Arts (ELA) and Algebra 1. The California Content Standards exam scores of 646 elementary middle schools (K-8) and 1,282 traditional middle schools (6-8, 7-8) in California provided the achievement data. MANCOVA revealed that while the elementary middle school configuration was significantly related to higher achievement in ELA (Pillai's Trace = 0.03, F[subscript (2,1923)] = 24.60, p<0.001), the traditional middle school configuration was significantly related to higher achievement in Algebra 1 (Wilks' Lambda = 0.98, F (subscript 2,1923) = 23.89, p<0.05). The study also explored the perceptions of middle school administrators regarding the strengths and weaknesses related to school configuration. Analysis of the interview protocol, sentence-completion activity, and ranking scale activity responses of 12 middle school administrators resulted in a total of 11 themes. Elementary configuration strengths included administrator perceptions that: (a) the environment is nurturing, (b) students have long-lasting relationships with the teachers, (c) parents continue to be involved in the school, and (d) multiple subject teacher certification offers flexibility in scheduling. Additionally, the elementary configuration perceived weaknesses were: (a) activities are limited and students perceive the school as a "baby school" and (b) course offerings and options are more limited. Traditional configuration perceived strengths were: (a) teacher single-subject expertise supports academic rigor, (b) schools provide an array of activities for different student groups, and (c) the school community is committed to preparing students for high school. Traditional configuration perceived weaknesses were: (a) administrators and teachers have limited relationships with students, and (b) social and behavioral issues are challenging to manage. As evidenced by the quantitative findings, there is a significant relationship between middle school configuration and achievement in ELA and Algebra 1. Achievement may be improved if school officials investigated successful practices of different middle school configurations that result in higher CST scores. Additionally, administrators' perceived strengths and weaknesses as related to their middle school configurations offer both benefits and challenges. For the benefit of students, future practice may include utilizing the identified perceived strengths while managing any perceived weaknesses. [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 8; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California