Date of Award

Fall 12-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational and School Psychology

First Advisor

William F. Barker

Second Advisor

Lynanne Black

Third Advisor

Joseph F. Kovaleski

Fourth Advisor

Mark McGowan

Abstract

State-wide assessment practices began in accordance with the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB, 2001) as an attempt to quantify student achievement. The Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) is a standards-based, criterion-referenced assessment utilized to monitor student achievement of academic standards as well as the efficiency of school programs in supporting student attainment of such standards (Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2014). Although the 500 Pennsylvania public school districts participate in the PSSA every spring, variance exists in the number of weeks of instruction for school districts prior to administration of PSSA assessments between academic years. This study examined varying instructional time across four academic years and resulting school district third grade proficiency rates in reading and mathematics on PSSA assessments. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis tests were utilized to examine the relationships with the outcome variables. The results indicated a significant difference between short and long instruction years on reading and mathematics proficiency rates on the third grade PSSA assessment on the 1-way ANOVA. Contrary to the hypothesis, higher proficiency rates were found for short instruction years compared to long instruction years in both reading and mathematics. These results suggest that increasing instructional time did not result in higher achievement in reading and mathematics on the third grade PSSA assessment. Additionally, the latent variables resource availability as measured by aid ratio market value/personal income, population density, and school district proficiency status were also found to be significant predictors of reading proficiency on the third grade PSSA. The latent variables of resource availability as measured by aid ratio market value/personal income and school district proficiency status were also found to be significant predictors of math proficiency on the third grade PSSA.

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