According to the Accountability Provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), schools are held responsible for the academic performance of all student subgroups they service. Since some student subgroups significantly outperform others, schools and districts that service substantial populations of students in the low-performing subgroups do not compare favorably to those schools and districts that service lower populations of students in these groups. Institutions that service students in the low-performing subgroups are at greater risk of not making their mandated benchmark adequate yearly progress (AYP).
This study is intended to replicate the examination originally conducted by Novak and Fuller but to use a 5-year period. The purpose is to determine whether results from the California Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) test support their findings that diverse schools are less likely to achieve their AYP targets as designated by NCLB. The researcher decided to review 5 years instead of 1 year because: a) a 1-year examination only provides a snapshot of school performance, b) the AYP targets have changed several times during the 5-year period, and c) an examination of 5 years of data may allow for a determination on the development of trends in test performance and paint a clearer picture of overall school performance.
For the purpose of this study, the researcher chose a longitudinal, descriptive, quantitative research design using secondary data. Descriptive research seeks to collect information to answer questions through the analysis of variable relationships. Quantitative research design is a formal, objective, systematic process utilizing numerical data to ascertain knowledge about the world. Secondary data analysis is the utilization of analytical methods on pre-existing data. In this case, the use of secondary data analysis granted access to a database of higher quality and larger sample size than the researcher could have collected.
The results indicate that the number of subgroups represented in a school's population has an effect on its ability to make AYP. The socioeconomic status (SES) of a school also affects its ability to make their AYP targets. The data also suggests that the presence of certain student subgroups affect a school's chance of making AYP more than other subgroups. Listing the subgroups in the order the subgroups most affect their schools' chances of making AYP are: disabled students, African American, English Language Learner, Hispanic, Disadvantaged, and White.
The findings of this study also indicate a strong and increasingly large trend in the disparity between state and federal accountability standards. Over the span of 4 years, the number of California elementary schools who achieved state API scores of at least 800 but failed to meet federal AYP standards increased approximately 1,900%, while the number of middle schools increased approximately 2,000%.
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/11, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Education Policy|
|Keywords:||No Child Left Behind, Public schools, Socioeconomic status|
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