Date of Award

8-12-1999

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor/Committee Member

Jeffrey T. Fouts, Ed.D., Chair of the Dissertation Committee

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Christopher A. Sink, Ph.D.

Third Advisor/Committee Member

Richard E. Smith, Ph.D.

Keywords

educational change, elementary education, educational tests and measurements, Washington (State)

Abstract

The primary purpose of this study was to explore relationships between the degree of school restructuring in Western Washington elementary schools and results on criterion referenced tests for reading, writing, mathematics, and listening, administered to 4th grade students in 1997. The sample of convenience included 47 elementary schools from 4 Puget Sound counties.

The current study extended a larger project on educational reform conducted by 7 researchers under the direction of Professor J. T. Fouts. This research explored relationships between the degree of school restructuring, a construct developed through factor analysis of classroom teacher responses on the School Practices and Changes Questionnaire (SPCQ), and results on the 1997 Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL/4). Four scales--instructional enhancement, collaboration, fundamental change, and the composite score of these factors--measured the degree of school restructuring. The percentage of students reaching performance benchmarks on the WASL/4 tests for reading, mathematics, writing, and listening described achievement.

Correlation and stepwise multiple linear regression procedures controlled for the over-lapping effects of demographic variables: SES, student body ethnicity, and enrollment; the 4 measures of restructuring; and achievement test results in 4 performance areas. With one exception, no statistically significant correlations were found between the degree of school restructuring and the demographic variables and between restructuring and WASL/4 results. SPSS calculated a single significant correlation between the degree of restructuring and student achievement, between instructional enhancement and reading (p<.01), that may represent a chance finding more than it does a meaningful relationship.

Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that the socioeconomic status (SES) of the student body was the best predictor of achievement in reading (p<.001), mathematics (p<.001), writing (p<.001), and listening (p<. 01), not the degree of school restructuring. Student body ethnicity added small increments to predictions on mathematics and listening, and enrollment added slightly to the performance prediction on mathematics.

Finally, it would appear that changes have occurred in all types of elementary schools, regardless of SES, student body ethnicity, enrollment, degree of school restructuring, or level of academic achievement.

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