Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education



First Advisor

Dr. Cynthia Bice

Second Advisor

Dr. Cindy Vitale

Third Advisor

Dr. John Dougherty


The purpose of this study was to compare the academic achievement of third grade students in an extended year school to that of third grade students in a conventional school. The problem statement was that both schools were academically deficient according to the requirements of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. The comparison between the two schools used communication arts and science data from 2002-2006 Missouri Assessment Program (MAP). It also examined the effects of variables such as summer breaks, socioeconomic status, and student attendance that affect student achievement beyond adding more instructional time. Examination of research related to the effects of summer breaks and student achievement uncovered evidence that summer breaks can create an achievement gap in the learning cycle. Also, research concluded that the socioeconomic status of a student can have a clear and negative effect on student achievement. Further research stated that students’ attendance rates proved to be a strong predictor of academic performance. The literature revealed different viewpoints on the effects of an extended school year, specifically that more instructional time improves test scores.

Regardless of any argument, the controversy of time and learning involves legislators, educators, reformers, students, and the community. Results of the study indicated that there was an association between the type of school calendar, extended versus conventional, and the academic achievement of elementary students as measured by student scores on the MAP. The alternate hypothesis was accepted, which stated that if students attend a school on an extended school year calendar, then MAP scores will be higher than those of students in a similar elementary school who attend school on a conventional calendar.

Recommendations for further research were centered on collecting data from districts with similar demographics and school and community planning efforts that focus on using technology to promote academic achievement as a means of broadening and enriching learning time without extending it. In this study, the students who attended an extended year school performed significantly higher on the MAP compared to students who attended a conventional school.


Copyright 2008

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