Impact of Educational Choice on Academic Outcomes

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Title: Impact of Educational Choice on Academic Outcomes
Author: McComb, Errin M.
Advisors: Dr. Robert Serow, Committee Chair
Dr. Saundra Williams, Committee Member
Dr. Paul Bitting, Committee Member
Dr. Anthony Rolle, Committee Co-Chair
Abstract: The purpose of the research was to determine if there are there differences in the educational outcomes of students choosing non-specialty and those who choose to remain at their base schools. This study attempts to test some of the assumptions regarding the positive impacts of parents engaging in school choice as it relates to their students' academic performance. This non-experimental comparative study was conducted with existing school data. This study compares end-of-grade test scores, demographics, and academic outcome variables of middle school students attending base schools with students attending non-specialty transfer schools. Data from the Wake County School System in North Carolina were appropriate for use in this study because they allow students to transfer to non-specialty schools. The transfer option, with some restriction, allows students in the district to transfer to other schools in the district. The data obtained and examined in this research span over three academic years, 1998-2000. The variables are defined and reported by the Wake County Publics School System Office of Evaluation and Research. The Wake County Public School System compiled the data set containing all demographic and outcome variables for this study. The findings from the analysis indicated that base school students had higher reading mean scores than students who transferred to non-specialty schools all three years. Additionally, findings indicated that base school students had higher math mean scores than transfer students for all the three years. Both quantitative and qualitative differences between school groups (base/transfer) were noted for math. There were no significant differences in the rates of remediation between the students who attended base schools and those that transferred to non-specialty schools. Further analysis indicated that suspension for girls in base schools was higher than the mean for girls in transfer schools. Boys in the base schools had higher rates of suspension than boys in transfer schools. Boys had higher rates of suspension than girls in both school types.
Date: 2002-11-19
Degree: PhD
Discipline: Educational Research and Policy Analysis

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