ERIC Number: EJ722345
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reference Count: 11
Random Variation in Student Performance by Class Size: Implications of NCLB in Rural Pennsylvania
Goetz, Stephan J.
Journal of Research in Rural Education, v20 n13 p1-8 2005
Schools that fail to make "adequate yearly progress" under NCLB face sanctions and may lose students to other schools. In smaller schools, random yearly variation in innate student ability and behavior can cause changes in scores that are beyond the influence of teachers. This study examines changes in reading and math scores across Pennsylvania's schools over time. There is no evidence that rural or smaller schools are systematically disadvantaged by NCLB. In smaller schools, 80% of the increase in scores is estimated to be caused by factors that generally cannot be influenced by school staff. Some schools likely should have received an award in a given year, but failed to earn one because nonpersistent factors reduced their scores to a level that disqualified them. Poverty depresses the gains achieved by schools, but small schools are able to offset the negative effect of poverty on changes in scores over time. Also, increases in poverty in a district reduce the gains in scores that can be achieved.
Descriptors: Educational Improvement, Academic Ability, Sanctions, Poverty, Class Size, Academic Achievement, Rural Areas, Federal Legislation, Scores, Reading Achievement, Mathematics Achievement
College of Education and Human Development, 5766 Shibles Hall, The University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5766. Tel: 207-581-2761.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001