Date of Award

Spring 1-2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Cynthia Bice

Second Advisor

Dr. Cindy Vitale

Third Advisor

Dr. A.G. Streb

Abstract

Educators lack an efficient means to predict academic success at the high school level. Analysis of assessment scores may provide prediction patterns to help districts raise the percentage of students who persist to graduation, provide support for students who exhibit characteristics of academic risk or giftedness, and move populations closer to meeting Adequate Yearly Progress. To consider assessment data as potential indicators of academic transition success from middle to high school, this study examined the correlation between middle school Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) scores and high school Grade Point Average (GPA). MAP Communication Arts and Mathematics were independent variables. The dependent variable was cumulative freshman-year GPA. Stepwise multiple regression analysis determined a positive correlation between each independent variable and freshman-year GPA. Calculation of the Pearson Coefficient determined that MAP Mathematics demonstrated the strongest relationship. A logistic regression analysis was used to investigate the value of MAP Communication Arts and Mathematics scores as predictors of the range of GPA likely to be achieved. Using conditional probabilities, a prediction model was constructed and applied to analyze characteristics of data across a two-year time span. Preliminary identification of student MAP achievement in the Advanced and Proficient categories allowed a comparison to the subsequent GPA range. Ranges were defined by dividing the traditional 4.0 GPA into five categories. Scores in the Advanced and Proficient ranges from each MAP category yielded an excellent accuracy rate for predicting a GPA of 2.5 & above, and a strong accuracy rate for predicting a GPA of 3.0 & above. The Mathematics and Communication Arts iv categories demonstrated an excellent prediction success rate for the GPA category of 3.5 & above. Results indicate that educators may benefit from adding middle school MAP Mathematics scores to the portfolio when evaluating strengths and weaknesses relative to academic transition to high school. Before deciding upon the usefulness of this tool, a district would benefit from a similar examination of its own data. Factors not considered in this study, such as choice of school improvement model (Professional Learning Community vs. Accelerated Schools) and type of scheduling (block vs. traditional), may yield differing results district-to-district.

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