One purpose of this study was to determine whether a relationship exists between the size of South Carolina PreKindergarten–5 or Kindergarten–5 public elementary schools and student achievement while controlling for the effect of socioeconomic status. The independent variable school size, or 135-day average daily membership, the dependent variable student achievement, and the control variable poverty index were obtained from the 2008 South Carolina Department of Education (SC DOE) 2008 Annual School Report Card. Utilizing the same variables, a second purpose of this study was to ascertain if student achievement varied among public elementary schools in South Carolina when the poverty index was controlled by including schools with similar poverty indexes in strata.
The third purpose of this study was to determine whether any school variable, or a combination of these variables, including school size, as reported on the Carolina Department of Education (SC DOE) 2008 Annual School Report Card, predicted student achievement. In addition to school size, thirty-nine variables reported on the SC DOE Report Card were analyzed. The researcher again controlled for poverty by grouping the public elementary schools in South Carolina into strata based on poverty index percentages.
Descriptive statistics were calculated on all variables. Pearson correlation analyses, partial correlation analysis, and finally, stepwise regression analyses were conducted within the poverty index strata to control for poverty to ascertain whether a relationship existed between school size and student achievement. The researcher also conducted a stepwise regression analysis with the SC DOE Annual School Report Card variables and student achievement within the poverty index strata to assess whether a variable, or a combination of variables, were predictive of student achievement.
When the partial correlation analysis between South Carolina public elementary school size and 2008 Palmetto Achievement Challenge Test data in English/language arts and mathematics was calculated, school size was not significantly correlated to student achievement. The stepwise regression analysis demonstrated the same result: school size was not found to be significantly related to student achievement. In the stepwise regression analysis for the SC DOE Annual School Report Card variables, the variable percent objectives met was the most predictive variable of student achievement. However, no particular combination of variables was consistently predictive of student achievement within each poverty index strata.
Finally, this research initially set out to examine the relationship between elementary school size and student achievement. A few random findings were identified; however, these outcomes did not lend themselves to predicting student achievement when poverty was controlled, either across the whole population or within schools grouped in strata based on poverty index. Subsequent analysis of potential combinations of predictive variables, including school size, did not identify school size as a significant combination with other variables in predicting student achievement.
|Commitee:||Cox, Edward, Kelehear, Zach, Shannon, Donna|
|School:||University of South Carolina|
|School Location:||United States -- South Carolina|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/02, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Achievement, Annual School Report Card, Palmetto Achievement Challenge Test (pact), School report cards, School size, South Carolina Department of Education, Student achievement|
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