Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Dissertation Chair for Clarence Johnson, Dissertation Defense PPT.
1IMPACT OF HIGH SCHOOLMATHEMATICS CURRICULA ON THEMATHEMATICS TAKS EXIT-LEVELPERFORMANCE OF AFRICANAMERICAN STUDENTSA Dissertation DefensebyClarence JohnsonSeptember 17, 2008Chair: William Allan Kritsonis, Ph.D.
2Committee MembersWilliam Allan Kritsonis, Ph.D.( Dissertation Chair)Pamela Barber-Freeman, Ph.D. Camille Gibson, Ph.D.(Member) (Member)Douglas Hermond, Ph.D. David Herrington, Ph.D.(Member) (Member)
3Dissertation Defense FormatI. Purpose of the StudyII. Theoretical FrameworkIII. Research QuestionsIV. Null HypothesesV. Pilot StudyVI. Subjects of the StudyVII. InstrumentationVIII. On-Line Survey QuestionsIX. Data AnalysisX. Independent/DependentVariablesXI. Major Findings -QuantitativeXII. Major Findings-Qualitative/Interview andRelated Literature SupportXIII. ImplicationsXIV. Recommendations forFurther StudyXV. Challenges & Opportunities
4Purpose of the StudyThe purpose of this study was to investigatethe impact that high school mathematicsscores and courses had on the MathematicsTAKS Exit-Level performance of AfricanAmerican students. Some middle schoolcounselors were surveyed to investigatefactors that contributed to African Americanstudents’ passing the Mathematics TAKSExit-Level Test.
5NoteThe results of this study may be helpful toschool administrators, teachers, andparents. The results will help to giveneeded attention to students in terms ofproper placement in mathematics coursesalong with support in the learning process.
6Theoretical FrameworkExplanatory Mixed Methods DesignQuantitative Data Qualitative DataTrack 1Scores:Algebra I,Geometry,Algebra IITrack 2 Scores:Algebra I,Geometry,Algebra IIEleventh Grade:Mathematics TAKS Exit-LevelScoresSurvey of Middle School CounselorsFactors that Impact Students’Placement in Track 1 or Track 2MathematicsAfrican American Students’ Performance
7Research QuestionsQuantitative1. Is there a difference between AfricanAmerican students enrolled in track oneor track two eighth grade mathematicsin their performance on the eleventhgrade Texas Assessment of Knowledgeand Skills (TAKS) Exit-LevelMathematics Test scores?
8Research QuestionsQuantitative2. Is there a relationship betweenmathematics scores in Algebra I,geometry, and/or Algebra II of AfricanAmerican students enrolled in track oneor track two in eighth and ninth gradesand their eleventh grade TexasAssessment of Knowledge and Skills(TAKS) Exit-Level Mathematics Testscores?
9Research QuestionsQualitative3. What factors do counselors identify asinfluential in African American students’placement in track one or track twomathematics?
10Null HypothesesH01:There is no statistically significantdifference between African Americanstudents enrolled in track one and thosein track two eighth grade mathematics intheir performance on the eleventh gradeTexas Assessment of Knowledge andSkills (TAKS) Exit-Level MathematicsTest scores.
11Null HypothesesH02:There is no statistically significant relationshipbetween mathematics scores in Algebra I,geometry, and/or Algebra II of African Americanstudents enrolled in track one or track two ineighth and ninth grades and their eleventhgrade Texas Assessment of Knowledge andSkills (TAKS) Exit-Level Mathematics Testscores.
12MethodsPilot StudyPilot Study – Initial Survey with 15 QuestionsReduced to Nine (9)A panel of experts reviewed the survey: An executive director of guidance andcounseling Two university professors Three middle school counselors Two high school mathematics teachers
13MethodsSubjects of the StudyQuantitative – 262 African AmericanStudents from 6 Urban HighSchools in TexasQualitative – 16 Counselors from Nine(9) Middle Schools in Texas
14MethodsInstrumentationQuantitative – Data Banks of TEA andSchool District – SASIxpQualitative – On-line Survey
15MethodsOn-Line Survey Questions3a. What factors do you consider when placing students in eighthgrade mathematics?3b. When advising African American students for mathematicsplacement, what is the most important factor?3c. In your opinion, what could the school do that would reduce thefailure rates of African American students in eighth grademathematics?3d. How often do you meet with students to discuss mathematicsgrade placement?3e. Which factor has the greatest influence on eighth grademathematics students’ passing rate in mathematics?
16MethodsOn-Line Survey Questions3f. What is the most important factor that contributesto the recommendation of African American malesto eighth grade advanced mathematics?3g. In your opinion, do teachers at this schoolfrequently meet with African American studentsabout how they can succeed in mathematicscourses?3h. What is your opinion of the number of eighth gradeAfrican American students enrolled in advancedmathematics classes?3i. How do you rate the counseling department indealing with African American eighth grade studentsin mathematics?
17MethodsData Analysis Descriptive Statistics Correlation Statistics – Pearson r, MultipleCorrelation (R) t - test for 2 Independent Samples Analysis of Variance (ANOVA)
19Major FindingsResearch Question 1Comparison of Performance in the Mathematics TAKSExit-Level Test of African American Students Enrolled inTrack 1 vs. Track 2Mean % Passed TAKS t Sig.Track 1 2168.34 76.5 6.857* 0.000Track 2 2321.69 100.0*Significant at p ≤ 0.05Null hypothesis was rejected. (Students in Track 2 scoredsignificantly higher on the TAKS test compared to studentsin Track 1).
20Major FindingsResearch Question 2Relationship Between Scores in Algebra Iand TAKS Exit-Level Mathematics TestPearson r Track 1 Track 2TAKS Scores 0.297* 0.455*Sig. (2-tailed) 0.000 0.001*Significant at p ≤ 0.05
21Major FindingsResearch Question 2Relationship Between Scores in Geometryand TAKS Exit-Level Mathematics TestPearson r Track 1 Track 2TAKS Scores 0.651* 0.475*Sig. (2-tailed) 0.000 0.001*Significant at p≤ 0.05
22Major FindingsResearch Question 2Relationship Between Scores in Algebra IIand TAKS Exit-Level Mathematics TestPearson r Track 1 Track 2TAKS Scores 0.503* 0.435*Sig. (2-tailed) 0.000 0.002*Significant at p ≤ 0.05
23Major FindingsResearch Question 2Analysis Of Variance (ANOVA) for Track 1Students Passing the Mathematics TAKS Exit-Level TestSum of Squares df F Sig.Regression 982241.97 3 45.254 0.000Residual 1215491.8 168Total 2197733.8 171Predictors: Constant, T1Algebra II, T1Algebra I,T1GeometryDependent Variable: T1TAKS
24Major FindingsResearch Question 2Coefficients for Track 1 Mathematics TAKS Exit-Level TestUnstandardizedCoefficients t Sig.Constant 1297.279 15.949 0.000T1Algebra I 0.967 1.188 0.236T1Geometry 7.770 7.479 0.000T1Algebra II 2.867 2.769 0.006Dependent Variable: T1 TAKSRegression Equation to Predict Value of TAKS Score:Ŷ = 1297.279 + 0.967X1 +7.770X2 + 2.867X3,where X1 = Algebra I score, X2 = geometry score, X3 = Algebra IIscore and Constant = 1297.279.
25Major FindingsResearch Question 2Analysis Of Variance (ANOVA) for Track 2Students Passing the Mathematics TAKS Exit-LevelTestSum of Squares df F Sig.Regression 349238.75 3 11.613 0.000Residual 431032.18 43Total 780270.94 46Predictors: Constant, T2 Algebra II, T2 Algebra I, T2 GeometryDependent Variable: T2 TAKS
26Major FindingsResearch Question 2Coefficients for Track 2 Mathematics TAKS Exit-Level TestUnstandardizedCoefficients t Sig.Constant 1025.724 4.334 0.000T2 Algebra I 4.760 1.560 0.126T2 Geometry 6.679 3.277 0.002T2 Algebra II 4.383 1.879 0.067Dependent Variable: T2 TAKSRegression Equation to Predict Value of TAKS Score:Ŷ = 1025.724+ 4.760X1 + 6.679X2 + 4.383X3,where X1 = Algebra I score, X2 = geometry score, X3 = Algebra IIscore and Constant = 1025.724.
27Number of Years RespondentsWorked as a School CounselorYears Frequency Percent1 - 5 6 37.506 - 10 1 6.2511 - 15 4 25.0016 - 20 3 18.7521 - 25 1 6.2526 - 30 1 6.25Total 16 100.00
28Major FindingsQualitative Question 3aWhat factors do you consider when placingstudents in 8th grade mathematics?Factors Frequency Percent*Parental input 3 18.75Previous academicachievement 15 93.75School district policy 14 87.50Teachers’ recommendation 14 87.50*Due to multiple responses, percentages do not add upto 100.
29Interview Support“District policy requires standardized testscores (primarily Iowa and TAKS) to beused with grades.”“District guidelines direct the placement ofstudents in Algebra in the 8th grade.”“I follow the same schedule that thestudents from the home school enterwith.”
30Related Literature SupportIn Principles and Standards for SchoolMathematics, the National Council of Teachers ofMathematics (NCTM, 2000) identified algebra asone of the central themes in K-12 mathematics.Many educators perceive algebra as the gatewayto higher mathematics, and many stategraduation requirements include at least 1 year ofalgebra (McCoy, 2005).
31Major FindingsQualitative Question 3bWhen advising African American students formathematics placement, what is the mostimportant factor?Factors FrequencyPercent*Student’s desire for morechallenging courses 11 68.75Teacher’s recommendation 4 25.00Counselor’s recommendation 0 0.00Family history 0 0.00*Due to less than total documented responses, percentages do notadd up to 100.
32Interview Support“The district has a matrix that we follow that guides us inplacing students in Algebra I as an 8th grader. Weexamine previous grades and teacherrecommendations to determine placement in our AVID(college prep) program.”“Teacher recommendations are important but much lessreliable due to subjectivity.”“I would consider the students’ desire for a challenge andthen speak with the teacher as well.”“I follow the same schedule that the students from thehome school enter with.”
33Major FindingsQualitative Question 3cIn your opinion, what could the school do thatwould reduce the failure rates of AfricanAmerican students in 8th grade mathematics?Factors Frequency Percent*More tutorials/remediation 12 75.00Better trained mathematics teachers 9 56.25More parental involvement 12 75.00Change entry level 3 18.75*Due to multiple responses, percentages do not add upto 100.
34Interview Support“The ‘Ethnic Disparity Gap’ is irrelevantwhen there are strong supportivehomes.”“This is in consonance with thecounselors’ claim that parentalinvolvement has tremendous, effectiveinfluence on students’ success.”
35Related Literature SupportMuch of the difference in schoolachievement found between AfricanAmerican students and others is due tothe effects of substantially differentschool opportunities, and in particular,greatly disparate access to high qualityteachers and teaching (Darling-Hammonds,2000).
36Major FindingsQualitative Question 3dHow often do you meet with students todiscuss mathematics grade placement?Timeline Frequency Percent*One time a year 5 31.25Bi-annually 8 50.00Monthly 1 6.25Parent’s request 5 31.25*Due to multiple responses, percentages do notadd up to 100.
37Interview Support“Course selection or qualification for advanced classes isthe only time we meet to discuss placement. ‘District’sTrack’ doesn’t allow a student to enter in higher classes in8th grade unless enrolled in 7th grade mathematics.”“I follow the same schedule that the student’s from thehome school enter with.”“We tell students in the 6th grade when we let themchoose their courses about district mathematicsrequirements. We tell them again at orientation nightduring the first day of school. We tell them again at openhouse, early fall. We tell them again in the GT parents’meeting held in the fall and spring. We send out letterslate spring.”
38Major FindingsQualitative Question 3eWhich factor has the greatest influence on 8thgrade mathematics students’ passing rate inmathematics?Factors Frequency Percent*Certified Mathematics teacher 0 0.00Parental involvement 2 12.50Teacher’s expectation 5 31.25Peer group pressure 0 0.00Student’s attitude 8 50.00*Due to total documented responses, percentages do not add upto 100.
39Related Literature SupportWorking in an urban Missouri junior high school,investigators studied what happened whenstudents of average mathematics achievementwere assigned to an advanced eighth-grade pre-algebra class. They found that the achievement ofaccelerated average students was better thanthe achievement of similar students in previousyears who had not taken acceleratedmathematics (Burris, Heubert, & Levin, 2006).
40Related Literature SupportThe average-achieving students in the high-trackclasses enrolled in more advanced high schoolmathematics courses than did students at similarachievement levels from previous low-trackcohorts. The results of the studies are consistent with thefindings and demonstrated almost no growth amongstudents placed in low-track, remedial eighth-gradeclassrooms, and the conclusions from a studycommissioned by the National Research Council thatdocumented strong negative effects of low-track classes(Burris, Heubert, & Levin, 2006).
41Major FindingsQualitative Question 3fWhat is the most important factor thatcontributes to the recommendation of AfricanAmerican males to 8th grade advancedmathematics?Factors Frequency Percent*Athletic coach’s recommendation 1 6.25Student’s interest 1 6.25Principal’s/counselor’s recommendation 1 6.25Achievement scores 12 75.00*Due to total documented responses, percentages do not add up to100.
42Interview SupportA counselor repeated the matrix’sguideline as basis for her action regardingplacement of African American studentsin 8th grade mathematics.Counselor commented: “Once again,Algebra I placement is determined by amatrix given to us by the district.”
43Major FindingsQualitative Question 3gIn your opinion, do teachers at this schoolfrequently meet with African American studentsabout how they can succeed in mathematicscourses?Response Frequency PercentStrongly agree 0 0.00Agree 6 37.50Unsure 7 43.75Disagree 1 6.25Strongly disagree 2 12.50Total 16 100.00
44Related Literature SupportA student’s path in middle school can shape his orher course in high school, which affects successin college and thereby determines a career path.As we look at African Americans in theworkplace, our gaze is necessarily directed backto their formative academic experiences inmiddle school, high school and college, where thetrack to their future success is first laid down(“Report Highlights Importance of Middle SchoolMath”, 2003).
45Major FindingsQualitative Question 3hWhat is your opinion of the number of 8th gradeAfrican American students enrolled in advancedmathematics classes?Reasons Frequency PercentAdvanced Mathematics coursesare not offered at this school 1 6.25About the right number 5 31.25Too few 10 62.50Too many 0 0.00Total 16 100.00
46Related Literature SupportAfrican American students are twice aslikely to be placed in non-academic trackclasses and remedial mathematicsclasses. Placement in these classesexposes students to a less challengingcurriculum and the least experiencedteachers (Rubin & Noguera, 2004).
47Related Literature SupportBerry (2003) stated that African Americanstudents receive mathematics instructionthat is not consistent with mathematicseducation reform; furthermore, themathematics instruction that many AfricanAmerican students receive is in oppositionto their culture styles and learningpreferences.
48Related Literature SupportAfrican American students take feweralgebra and geometry courses than Whitestudents and these courses are often“gate-keepers” to science and mathematicsdegrees and performance on standardizedexaminations (Russell, 2005).
49Major FindingsQualitative Question 3iHow do you rate the counseling department indealing with African American 8th gradestudents in mathematics?Rating Frequency Percent*Outstanding 1 6.25Above average 6 37.50Adequate 8 50.00Poor 0 0.00*Due to total documented responses, percentages do not add up to100.
50Interview Support“We have a large group of student loadand we treat them all the same inplacement and do not single out onegroup. We speak to all the same and withthe same information which to encouragethem all.”
51ImplicationsBerry (2003) points outs that African American students’mathematics achievement levels are indicative of theinstruction that they receive. Data collected on teachers’instructional practices indicate differences between AfricanAmerican students and their peers.National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) data suggestthat most African American students are not experiencinginstructional practices consistent with therecommendations suggested by the National Council ofTeachers of Mathematics (NCTM), whereas more Whitestudents are experiencing NCTM standards-basedinstruction (Lubienski, 2001).
52ImplicationsThe power and influence of the middle-class,affluent, and more privileged parents plays animportant role in deciding who will be in “theirkid’s classes.” More often than not, politicalpressure from parents coupled with lowexpectations for African Americans in theclassroom by teachers, counselors, andadministrators result in homogeneous tracksand ability groups (Russell, 2005).
53ImplicationsWard (2008) pointed out that mathematics achievementbuilds to increasing levels of complexity only when the baseis solid, and that base is formed from the earliest days ofelementary school. Too many elementary school teachers,strong in other subjects and talented in connecting withchildren, lack the mathematics background needed toprepare students for algebra by the eighth grade.Additional research based training, targeted at the specificskills needed for effective algebra instruction, will becritical and costly.
54ImplicationsThe existence of linear regression equationsmay become one of the bases for remediationefforts to assure that students pass themathematics high-stakes test. Administratorsand teachers may forestall problems associatedwith the State of Texas requirement forstudents to graduate from high school.
55Recommendations for Further Study A study should be conducted to involverepresentative samples from one ormore districts in a similar study todetermine if results can be duplicated. A study should be conducted to involveanother group of students (Whites,Hispanics, Asians, etc.) in a similarstudy.
56Recommendations for Further Study A study should be conducted to determinespecific activities of the guidance andcounseling department in the placement ofstudents not only in mathematics but also inthe different core areas of science, English andsocial studies. A study should be conducted on the quality ofmathematics instruction involved in thedifferent tracks.
57Recommendations for Further Study A study should be conducted to predictthe performance of African Americanstudents in the other core areas. A quantitative study should be conductedwith a large random sample of teachersand school counselors regarding theimpact of high school mathematicscurricula on the mathematics TAKS Exit-Level performance of students.
58Recommendations for Further Study A study should be conductedregarding remediation practicesdone by the school and the home inpreparing students to succeed in thehigh-stakes tests given by the Stateof Texas, not only in mathematicsbut also in the other core areas.
59Challenges & OpportunitiesAlthough African Americans haveincreased their participation inmathematics and the sciences within thelast decade, it is important to note thatthese advances are still miniscule whencompared to those of White students(Russell, 2005).
60Challenges & OpportunitiesThe attitudes and experiences of many school personnelneed to change, too. I have been on campuses and inclassrooms throughout the state, and it is consistent fromone end to the other: certain students are seen as algebra-ready, and certain students are not. It’s no mystery: Asianand White students on one hand; Latino, African Americanand poor students of all ethnicities on the other. But theyare not ready. This is the common and perfectly honestexplanation. But it is our job to make them ready. It is workwe have chosen. It is our responsibility (Ward, 2008).
61REFERENCESBerry, R. Q., III. (2003). Voices of African American male middleschool students: A portrait of successful middle school mathematicsstudents. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation. University of NorthCarolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC.Burris, C. C., Heubert, J. P., & Levin, H. M. (2006). Acceleratingmathematics achievement. Educational Research Journal, 43(1),105-136.Darling-Hammonds, L. (2000). New standards and old inequalities:School reform and the education of African American students.The Journal of Negro Education, 69(4), 263-287.
62REFERENCESLubienski, S. T. (2001, April). A second look at mathematicsachievement gaps: Intersections of race, class, and gender inNAEP data. Paper Presented at American Educational ResearchAssociation, Seattle, WA.McCoy, L. P. (2005). Effect of Demographic and personal variables onachievement in eighth-grade algebra. Journal of EducationalResearch, 98(3), 131-135.National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2000). Principles andstandards for school mathematics. Reston, VA: NCTM.Report highlights importance of middle school math (2003). BlackIssues in Higher Education, 20(19), 11.
63REFERENCESRubin, B. C., & Norguera, P. A. (2004). Tracking detracking: Sortingthrough the dilemmas and possibilities of detracking in practice.Equity & Excellence, 37, 92-101.Russell, M. L. (2005). Untapped talent and unlimited potential: AfricanAmerican students and the science pipeline. The Negro EducationalReview, 56(2/3), 167-182.Texas Education Agency (2005). Accountability System State DataTable 2005. Austin, TX: Author. Retrieved January 25, 2006,from http://www.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/account/2005/state.htmlWard, R. (2008, July 23).Our expectations for all children. The SanDiego Union-Tribune. p. A18.
64Thank You !!!Forlisteningtomypresentation!Have a wonderful day!!!