Date of Award:

12-2012

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

School of Teacher Education and Leadership

Advisor/Chair:

Patricia Moyer-Packenham

Abstract

Public education has options with regard to educational settings and structures. States and school districts may select varying lengths for the school year, lengths for the school day, and lengths for individual class periods. In Utah, one measure of students' achievement is scores on the State's end-of-level criterion-referenced test (CRT) for Algebra I. Additionally, an option regarding educational structures is the schedule type used to deliver Algebra I classes. This study examined the relationship between student achievement as measured by Algebra I CRT scores, and the schedule type used to deliver Algebra I classes. The schedule types compared were the traditional daily schedule, trimester 3/3 schedule, trimester 2/3 schedule, and the block A/B schedule. This study sought to answer two research questions: (1) What is the relationship between mathematics instructional schedule type and student scores on Utah's CRT for Algebra I, for all students? and (2) What is the relationship between mathematics instructional schedule type and student scores on Utah's CRT for Algebra I, by individual grade levels? Data were obtained from the Utah State Office of Education and included the scores for 50,000 Utah students, from over 300 different schools, who took the identical Algebra I CRT at the end of the 2010-2011 school year. Data were also obtained from each school district to determine the schedule type of each participating student. Both a multinomial logistic regression analysis and a t-test analysis were conducted to determine relationships between Algebra I CRT scores and schedule types. The results indicated significant differences in student achievement based on the schedule type overall and for individual grade levels. Generally, the earlier the grade level the higher the CRT score. Within individual grade levels, there were both statistically significant and nonsignificant differences. The schedule types that generally score the highest (trimester 3/3 and traditional) had more time in the mathematics classroom and the students' mathematics class met daily. The results suggest the value of daily time spent in the mathematics classroom and may assist educators when considering options available to foster student achievement.

Comments

This work made publicly available electronically on December 21, 2012.

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