Date of Award

5-2017

Type

Dissertation

Major

Doctor of Education

Department

Counseling, Foundations & Leadership

Abstract

Societal concerns and revolving federal initiatives linked State assessment scores to accountability measures which determined school success. In Southwest Georgia, one rural high school manipulated student schedules and provided an additional support course for individuals demonstrating documented mathematical deficiencies. The researcher examined the impact of three different grouping practices on the student’s 2014-15 Georgia Milestone Analytic Geometry End-of-Course assessment. This State assessment served as the dependent variable and the student grouping practice served as the independent variable for this quasi-experimental design study. Student schedules were examined and the three groups investigated during this study included 1) a group of students not scheduled for the additional support course; 2) a group of support students grouped homogeneously within the geometry classroom; and 3) a group of support students grouped heterogeneously within the geometry classroom. The study analyzed the mean scale scores for both the lowest 30% of the tested population and the entire tested population.

For research question 1, the lowest 30% tested (N=111), the researcher utilized a one-way ANOVA and noted a statistically significant difference within the mean scale scores between the nonsupport group (p = .000) and the both support groups. However, no statistical difference existed between the two support groups (p = .065). Next, the researcher completed the Tukey post hoc test and noted the highest mean scale score for students not enrolled in support and placed heterogeneously within the regular geometry course. The scale score was higher for this group than both the support homogeneous vii group (28.642, 95% CI [14.66, 42.62]) and support heterogeneous group mean (42.717, 95% CI [29.75, 55.69]).

For research question 2 (RQ2), the entire tested population (N=324), the researcher noted similar results outlined within research question 1. The researcher utilized a one-way ANOVA and noted the nonsupport course was statistically significantly different (p = .000) from each of the support groups, but the support groups were not significantly different (p = .185). The researcher compared the results of the Tukey post hoc test and noted the highest group once again included the nonsupport students. This group outperformed the homogeneous support course students by 23.3, 95% CI [11.54, 35.06] and the heterogeneous grouped students by 33.63, 95% CI [23.34, 43.92]. However, the difference of the scores between the two support course groups was only 10.33, 95% CI [-3.49, 24.15].

A major implication for educators was the determination that an additional hour of support as an intervention alone provided no statistical benefit to the state assessment mean score. Additionally, the use of homogeneous versus heterogeneous grouping strategies provided no statistically significant difference on the state assessment mean scores. With the increase in accountability measures linked to student assessment scores, the researcher recommended a closer investigation into professional development and instructional strategies specific to the limited abilities of the population served within the support course. Future research focused on longitudinal implications for this population would provide additional implications for educators.

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