Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Research on middle-level schools and student achievement revealed a drop in academic performance when students transitioned from elementary school to a traditional middle school. In the United States, the middle school years have historically seen a decline in student achievement following a transition from elementary school.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the performance of United States eighth-grade students in mathematics continued to lag behind globally based on the 2015 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (U.S. Department of Education, 2017). Specifically, United States eighth graders were ranked 12th in mathematics, which was three notches down from eight years prior. Similarly, the Louisiana Department of Education (2018), found Louisiana students struggled in mathematics compared to other tested subjects. In addition, middle school student achievement in Louisiana revealed consistently lower performance in mathematics compared to the other content areas.
The purpose of this study was to determine if a particular scheduling practice had a significant effect on overall student math performance in Louisiana public middle schools. The sample population for the study included 179 schools containing grades six, seven, and eight. An independent t-test was conducted with the data for each of six hypotheses to determine if there was a difference in the group mean proficiency and mastery scores on the mathematics portion of the 2018 state assessment in Louisiana public middle schools that implemented either a traditional or block schedule.
Based on the results of the independent t-test of the sample population, sixth graders in block scheduled schools demonstrated significantly higher proficiency and mastery scores on the math portion of the Louisiana assessment in the spring of 2018. In addition, seventh graders in block scheduled schools demonstrated significantly higher mastery scores on the math portion of the Louisiana assessment in the spring of 2018. While not significant in all cases, the mean proficiency and mastery scores for sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade math on the Louisiana assessment in 2018 were higher in the sample schools utilizing block scheduling.
Recommendations from the study include using the schedule as only one factor for a school improvement effort.
Gegg, Deborah Lynn, "" (2020). Dissertation. 861.