College of Education Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Gayle Mindes, PhD

Second Advisor

Darrick Tovar-Murray, PhD

Third Advisor

Rich Whitney, PhD

Abstract

The purpose of this quantitative, causal-comparative study was to determine the impact of the year-round education school calendar on the standardized test performance of fifth grade African American students, as measured by the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) in reading. The ISAT reading scores from two year-round education (YRE) schools (School A and School B) were compared with two traditional calendar education (TCE) schools (School C and School D). The selection of schools was based on numerous factors in order to ensure that the year-round education schools and traditional calendar education schools were similar in socioeconomic status and in the number of African American students attending the schools. Descriptive and inferential analyses were conducted. Descriptive analyses consisted of determining means and standard deviations of study variables. Inferential statistics consisted of a 2 (school type) x 3 (lunch status) between subjects factorial ANOVA to demonstrate main effects of each independent variable, as well as the interaction effect of both variables together on the dependent variable. Results of this study concluded that there was not a significant difference between the year-round and traditional school groups on ISAT reading scores. There were no significant differences between the free lunch, reduced lunch, and paid lunch groups on ISAT reading scores. The interaction effect for school type x lunch status was not significant. Although the current research did not support the previous literature that indicates year-round education might mitigate some of the risks associated with low-socioeconomic status, further research should be conducted on this topic. The present research indicates that within classrooms, educational quality and student outcomes may depend on several factors. Future research on the particular qualities and attributes of the teacher, the social and physical context in which learning unfolds, and the specific activities and events structuring how children experience their time as learners may continue to shed light on the educational attainment discrepancies between different groups of students.

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