Date of Graduation
The purpose of this study was to provide an accurate description of the status of middle schools in the state of West Virginia and to determine the relationship that exists between the degree of implementation of key middle level practices and school achievement level when controlling for school location, school size, student body socioeconomic status, and student body race/ethnicity. Seventy-eight West Virginia middle schools contributed data for the study. Each school principal completed the Survey of Middle School Implementation Levels, which was used to measure the degree of implementation of key middle level practices. School achievement data, aggregated to the school level, and data for each of the four control variables were collected from the West Virginia Department of Education. Correlational, regression, and ANOVA techniques were used to analyze the data. Findings revealed that West Virginia middle schools are commonly located in rural communities and have a small percentage of non-white students enrolled. While there is considerable variation in school sizes and student body socioeconomic status, the typical West Virginia middle school is relatively small with approximately one-half of its student body receiving free or reduced price meals. Further analysis of the data revealed that despite the large range of responses on the administered survey, West Virginia middle schools are implementing many of the key school practices outlined in the middle school literature. In addition, three significant findings were identified by statistical analyses. First, regression analysis revealed that student body socioeconomic status was a statistically significant predictor of school achievement. As the number of students receiving reduced price meals in a West Virginia middle school increases, the school achievement scores decrease. The second statistically significant finding, uncovered by a Spearman rank correlation test and a post hoc regression analysis, showed a positive correlation between the 1998â€“99 SAT9 test scores and the 1999â€“2000 SAT9 test scores. Prior achievement was a predictor of current achievement. Perhaps of greatest importance was the third major finding of the study. Statistical analyses indicated that the degree of implementation of key middle level practices was not a predictor of school achievement for West Virginia middle schools.
Isaacs, Thelma Mae, "Putting West Virginia middle schools to the test: Implementation of key practices as a predictor of school achievement." (2001). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9088.