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ERIC Number: ED561597
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 250
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3034-2930-9
The Impact of School-to-School Transitions on Academic Achievement: An Analysis of Various Grade-Span Configurations Utilized by Public School Districts in New York State
DelViscio, James J.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, State University of New York at Albany
At the beginning of the 20th century, there were essentially two types of organizational structures for primary and secondary education in the United States. There were either one-room K-12 schools or in larger systems K-8 buildings feeding into four-year high schools. Despite numerous experiments since then in reconfiguring schools resulting in a wide variety of grade-grouping combinations, there continues to be no consensus on one preferred organizational model for schools within districts. More importantly, there has been relatively little empirical research done to determine whether the way schools are configured or whether the number of schools a child attends, which can range from one to five or more between kindergarten and high school, has any significant impact on academic performance. The analyses of academic and demographic records of 598 New York State's school districts over four years from the 2007-08 through 2010-11 school years has provided evidence that the number of structured school-to-school transitions that are made through primary and secondary school has a statistically significant influence on academic performance, as measured by the total percentage of students who graduate within a specified period of entering high school. The negative influence of increases in the number of transitions on graduation rates for total student populations, as well as various subgroup cohorts, becomes clear when controls are introduced for the strongest predictors of student success, the percentage qualifying for free and reduced lunch aid and the percentage of teachers with the most advanced educational training. This finding is consistent with a growing body of research that has suggested that each transition that a student makes to a new school has a negative influence on academic achievement. While regression analyses of cohorts of white student graduation rates also revealed a statistically significant negative influence that greater numbers of transitions had on graduation rates, findings were inconclusive across the four years of the study for other subgroup cohorts, including students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged students and black students. The strength of the analyses of these subgroups was potentially flawed because cohort graduation rates were not reported by many districts, in accordance with State Education Department policies that allow suppression of such results if the subgroups have five or fewer students in them. In another series of regression analyses, the percentage of high school graduates in the general education and special education populations earning Regents diplomas with advance designation was found to be positively correlated with the number of school-to-school transitions, but these results were only statistically significant in two of the four years evaluated. [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:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York