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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The effects of philanthropic high school reform (early college high school) on the authentic intellectual quality of student responses
by Smith, Louis Wesley, Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2009, 213; 3344790
Abstract (Summary)

The state of the American high school has been a matter of great concern. Educators, policymakers, and the public continue to be concerned by high dropout rates, low academic achievement, and the failure of high school youth to reach the level of educational attainment necessary for success in college. In response to these concerns, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been collaborating with state education agencies to fund and implement the early college high school change strategy. These early college high schools enable students to graduate with up to 2 years of college credit.

The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's early college high school change strategy as it related to teaching and learning at the classroom level. Teacher assignments (J = 30) and student responses (n = 494) were collected from three early college high schools and seven comprehensive high schools in three rural school districts in one mid-Atlantic state.

This nonexperimental design (ex post facto) study involved the use of intact (preexisting) groups of participants, a control group (comprehensive high school students) and a comparison group (early college high school students). Due to the nested nature of the data and accounting for differences in sample sizes, a 2-level HLM model was used to determine the predictive effects of type of school and teacher assignments on the authentic intellectual quality of student responses.

The results indicated that type of school (early college) was a predictor of student response scores, and that early college high schools had higher student response scores than comprehensive high schools in this sample. Additionally, the results indicated that the level of challenge of teacher assignments was predictive of student response scores. Teachers at early college high schools produced more challenging assignments, which were predictive of higher student response scores. The critical finding of this study was that the early college high school change strategy was influencing student outcomes.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Roach, Virginia
Commitee: Choi, Jaehwa, Donahoe, Harper
School: The George Washington University
Department: Educational Administration and Policy Studies
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 70/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: School administration, Secondary education
Keywords: Early college high school, High school, Intellectual quality, Reform, Rural education
Publication Number: 3344790
ISBN: 978-1-109-04227-6
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