Elementary School Size and Student Progress Differences by Ethnicity/Race:

A Multiyear, Texas Study

Authors

Keywords:

School Size, Elementary, Student Achievement, STAAR, Student Progress, Reading, Mathematics, Ethnicity/Race

Abstract

In this investigation, the degree to which student enrollment (i.e., school size) at elementary schools was related to student progress on the State of Texas reading and mathematics state-mandated assessments was examined for White, Black, and Hispanic students.  Archival data available on the Texas Academic Performance Report were analyzed for the 2013-2014, 2014-2015, 2016-2017, and 2017-2018 school years.  Inferential analyses revealed the presence of statistically significant differences, with below small to small effect sizes.  Large-size schools had statistically significantly higher reading and mathematics progress rates than Small-size schools in 6 of the 9 analyses for White students.  In 6 of the 9 analyses, school size was not related to student progress in reading or mathematics for Hispanic students.  Small-size schools had statistically significantly higher progress rates in mathematics for Hispanic students than Moderate-size schools.  Large-size, Moderate-size, and Small-size schools had similar progress rates in reading and mathematics for Black students in 8 of the 9 analyses.  Implications for policy and practice, as well as recommendations for research, are provided. 

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Dr. Amy Busby, Sam Houston State University

Recent Doctoral Graduate in Educational Leadership

Dr. Cynthia Martinez-Garcia, Sam Houston State University

Associate Professor, Department of Educational Leadership

Dr. John R. Slate, Sam Houston State University

Professor, Department of Educational Leadership

References

Barnes, G., & Slate, J. R. (2014). School district size and Limited English Proficient student performance: A statewide analysis. Journal of Education Research, 8(3), 123-128.

Boser, U. (2013). Size matters: A look at school district consolidation. Center for American Progress. Retrieved from https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education-k-12/reports/2013/08/08/71849/size-matters-a-look-at-school-district-consolidation/

Bromberg, M., & Theokas, C. (2014, April). Falling out of the lead: Following high-achievers through high school and beyond. Washington, DC: The Education Trust.

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, (1954). 347 US 483.

Carter, P. L. & Welner, K. G. (2013). Closing the Opportunity Gap: What America must do to give every child an even chance. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Chapin, J. R. (2006). The achievement gap in social studies and science starts early: Evidence from the early childhood longitudinal study. The Social Studies, 97(6), 231-238.

Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Contreras, F. E. (2005). Access, achievement, and social capital: Standardized exams and the Latino college-bound population. Journal of Hispanics in Higher Education, 4, 197-214. doi:10.1177/1538192705276546

Dodson, M. E., & Garrett, T. A. (2004). Inefficient education spending in public school districts: A case for consolidation. Contemporary Economic Policy, 22, 270-280.

Eberts, R., Kehoe, E., & Stone, J. (1984). The effects of school size on student outcomes. Eugene, OR: Oregon University. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 245382)

Field, A. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Fitzgerald, K., Gordon, T., Canty, A., Stitt, R. E., Onwuegbuzie, A. J., & Frels, R. K. (2013). Ethnic differences in completion rates as a function of school size in Texas high schools. Journal of At-Risk Issues, 17(2), 1-10.

Gilmore, K. L. (2007). The relationship between school size and student achievement in Texas middle schools. (Doctoral dissertation, Texas A& M University-Commerce, 2007).

Goldsmith, P. R. (2011). Coleman revisited: School segregation, peers, and frog ponds. American Education Research Journal, 48(3), 508-535.

Johnson, R. B., & Christensen, L. (2017). Educational research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Kotok, S. (2017). Unfulfilled potential: High-achieving minority students and the high school achievement gap in math. The High School Journal, 100(3), 183-202. doi:10.1353/hsj.2017.0007

Leithwood, K., & Jantzi, D. (2009). A review of empirical evidence about school size effects: A policy perspective. American Educational Research Journal, 79, 464-490.

Lockwood, A. T. (2007). An agenda for the future: Closing the achievement gap for underrepresented groups in gifted and talented education. Storrs, CT: National Research Center on the Gifted & Talented, University of Connecticut.

Mau, W. C. (2003). Factors that influence persistence in science and engineering career aspirations. The Career Development Quarterly, 51(3), 234-243.

Mau, W. C., & Li, J. (2018). Factors influencing STEM career aspirations of underrepresented high school students. The Career Development Quarterly, 66, 245-258. doi:10.1002/cdq.12146

McKown, C. (2013). Social equity theory and racial-ethnic achievement gaps. Child Development, 84(4), 1120-1136.

National Assessment of Educational Progress. (2018). The nation’s report card. Retrieved from https://www.nationsreportcard.gov/reading_math_2017_highlights/

Onwuegbuzie, A. J., & Daniel, L. G. (2002). Uses and misuses of the correlation coefficient. Research in the Schools, 9(1), 73-90.

Reardon, S. F., & Galindo, C. (2009). The Hispanic-White achievement gap in math and reading in the elementary grades. American Educational Research Journal, 46, 853-891.

Riha, M., Slate, J. R., & Martinez-Garcia, C. (2013). Middle school size and Hispanic student achievement. Journal of Education Research, 7(1), 73-82.

Sonnenschein, S., & Sun, S. (2017). Racial/ethnic differences in kindergarteners’ reading and math skills: Parents’ knowledge of children’s development and home-based activities as mediators. Infant and Child Development, 26(5), 1-21. doi:10.1002/icd.2010

Stanislaski, T. (2015). School consolidation: Weighing risks, costs, and options. School Business Affairs, 81(8), 12-15.

Texas Education Agency. (2018a). Enrollment in Texas public schools 2017-18. (Document No. GE18 601 06). Austin, TX: Author.

Texas Education Agency. (2018b). Instructional Facilities Allotment Program. Retrieved from https://tea.texas.gov/Finance_and_Grants/State_Funding/Facilities_Funding_and_Standards/Instructional_Facilities_Allotment_Program/

Texas Education Agency. (2018c). State accountability. Retrieved from https://tea.texas.gov/Student_Testing_and_Accountability/Accountability/State_Accountability/

Texas Education Agency. (2018d). State of Texas assessments of academic readiness (STAAR) progress measure questions and answers. Retrieved from http://tea.texas.gov/student.assessment/staarprogressmeasureQandA.pdf

United States Department of Education. (2018). No Child Left Behind. Retrieved from https://www2.ed.gov/nclb/landing.jhtml

Venzant Chambers, T., & Huggins, K. (2014). The influence of school factors on racial opportunity cost for high-achieving students of color. Journal of School Leadership, 24(1), 189-220.

Wendling, W., & Cohen, J. (1981). Education resources and student achievement: Good news for schools. Journal of Education Finance, 7, 44-63.

Werblow, J., & Duesbery, L. (2009). The impact of high school size on math achievement and dropout rate. The High School Journal, 92(3), 14-23.

Williams, A. (2011). A call for change: Narrowing the achievement gap between White and minority students. The Clearing House, 84, 65-71. doi:10.1080/00098655.2010.511308

Zoda, P. F., Combs, J. P., & Slate, J. R. (2011). Black student performance and elementary school size: A 5-year statewide investigation. The ACEF Journal, 2(2), 43-64.

Downloads

Published

2020-04-30

How to Cite

Amy C Busby, Cynthia Martinez-Garcia, & John R Slate. (2020). Elementary School Size and Student Progress Differences by Ethnicity/Race:: A Multiyear, Texas Study. SOCIALSCI JOURNAL, 6, 166-186. Retrieved from https://purkh.com/index.php/tosocial/article/view/705

Issue

Section

Research Articles