Date of Award

5-2002

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Major

Educational Administration

Major Professor

Dan R. Quarles

Committee Members

C. Glennon Rowell, Mary Jane Connelly, Thomas W. George

Abstract

This study investigated the relationships between value-added achievement in Tennessee public schools that include grades one through five and selected independent variables. The schools’ use of the reading practice and monitoring software known as Accelerated Reader® (AR) was of particular interest, as considerable research has suggested its effectiveness in raising achievement in reading and other subjects.

Data were (1) the dependent variables, cumulative three-year average (1999, 2000, and 2001) Tennessee Value-Added Assessment scores in reading, language, math, science, and social studies; (2) independent variables school enrollment, per pupil annual expenditure for the system, percentage of students in the school eligible for free or reduced price meals, and percentage of minority students in the school; and (3) whether and to what extent AR had been purchased and implemented at each school since August 1, 1999. Four levels of AR ownership/implementation were classified as (1) ownership without any “model classrooms,” (2) having one or two model classrooms, (3) having three or more model classrooms, or (4) being certified as a “model school.”

Multiple regression analysis was used to search for statistically significant relationships between the independent demographic variables and AR use and the dependent variables of value-added achievement at the .05 level of significance, in the hope that a useful model could be designed for predicting value-added achievement from AR use, school enrollment, per pupil expenditure, free or reduced-price meal eligibility, and minority enrollment.

Analysis of the data uncovered almost no significant relationships or school-level effects. In no instance was AR implementation a significant factor in relation to value added achievement at the school level. While no useful regression model was developed from this study, one significant finding was that, in schools ending at grade six, school enrollment and especially minority enrollment are negatively correlated with math achievement.

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