Title page for ETD etd-01312008-210608

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Puttre, Catherine P.
URN etd-01312008-210608
Title Does the Degree of Implementation of the Components of the Middle School Design Relate to High-Stakes Assessment Scores in Grade 8 Reading and Math?
Degree Doctor of Education
Department Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Alexander, M. David Committee Co-Chair
Mallory, Walter D. Committee Co-Chair
Bengier, Andrea Committee Member
Gatewood, Thomas E. Committee Member
  • High Stakes Assessment
  • Middle School
  • Achievement
Date of Defense 2007-12-13
Availability unrestricted
Does the Degree of Implementation of the Components of the Middle School Design Relate to High-stakes Assessment Scores in Grade 8 Reading and Math? Catherine P. Puttre ABSTRACT Does the degree of implementation of the components of the middle-school design relate to high-stakes assessment scores in Grade 8 reading and math? There currently exists a conflict between the advocates of the middle-school components and those who support an abandonment of this philosophy and conceptual model for a more conservative and curriculum centered school structure. The outcome of this study provides valuable data to resolve this debate.

Socioeconomic ratios, minority percentages, and student attendance were controlled for as they impact student achievement. The middle-school concept evolved from a desire to create a more appropriate learning environment which would address the unique needs of early adolescents. Student achievement as demonstrated on the math and reading Standards of Learning tests in Virginia schools should validate this belief.

The data analysis resulted in no significant difference between the reading and math scores on the Virginia state assessment for eighth-grade students in middle schools and eighth graders in other grade configured schools. The socioeconomic status of the student population of the school was the one factor that did impact the students’ academic achievement. Math scores were not impacted to the same degree as the reading scores. While this research provides no concrete support for the expansion of the middle-school program, neither is there support for the assertion that it lacks rigor, and keeps students from achieving academically and therefore should be abandoned.

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