A comparative study of student achievement between traditional calendar schools and year -round schools in Indiana

Robert Joseph Evans, Purdue University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine if year-round calendar schooling is more effective academically than a traditional calendar system. Specifically, it investigated if there is a difference between elementary students’ ISTEP+ passing percentage averages for year-round versus traditional calendar schools from the years 2002 to 2005. This study further investigated subgroups of low socio-economic status, minority, and special education students in year-round schools versus traditional calendar schools. ^ Standardized test passing percentages from Indiana schools were chosen to include those Indiana schools that utilize 180 instructional days. Twenty year-round elementary schools that operated as year-round calendar schools between 2002 and 2005 yielded 69 tests. Traditional calendar schools were represented by 1109 Indiana public elementary schools that yielded 4407 tests. Student passing rates for both English/Language arts, and mathematics from 2002 to 2005 were collected for both year-round and traditional calendar schools. A hierarchical matching process was used to identify traditional calendar schools statistically identical to each year-round school. An analysis of variance was applied to overall achievement test results and to unique contribution of each school type within subgroups of poverty, ethnicity, and special education. ^ Findings indicated a significant difference between ISTEP+ passing percentage averages of traditional calendar and year-round calendar schools for third grade elementary students from the years 2002 to 2005 in favor of yearround schools. Furthermore, a significant difference between ISTEP+ passing percentage averages of traditional calendar and year-round calendar schools for third grade elementary students of low socio-economic status, for third grade non-minority students, and for third grade elementary students designated as special needs in favor of year-round schools was shown. ^ In summary, this study recognized that state and federal accountability measures frame how district level administrators create, evaluate, and implement academic programs within their schools. In effort to meet these guidelines, school districts continue to review various program options and methods to improve student achievement. Implications from this research study may provide school corporation leaders examining school improvement initiatives the tools to make informed decisions regarding program modifications that will better enable them to meet their No Child Left Behind goals. ^

Degree

Ph.D.

Advisors

Marilyn A. Hirth, Purdue University, William D. McInerney, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Education, Curriculum and Instruction|Education, Philosophy of

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