Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.

Cooperating University

Western Kentucky University

Department (Legacy)

Department of Leadership, Foundations, and Human Resource Education

Committee Chair

Miller, Stephen K.

Author's Keywords

School reform; America's choice; Comprehensive school reform; Mathematics reform


Educational change--Kentucky; School improvement programs--Kentucky; Mathematics--Study and teaching (Elementary)--Kentucky


This study examined student achievement scores in Kentucky elementary schools to determine the relationship between implementing the America's Choice comprehensive school reform model and student achievement in mathematics. Six research questions guide this study; For the seven America's Choice schools for third grade mathematics: (1) To what degree do the America's choice schools differ from the statewide mean for math achievement at the beginning of the program, (2) To what extent is the year of implementation related to math achievement, (3) To what extent are differences between schools related to math achievement, (4) To what extent is the beginning year of the program related to math achievement, (5) What is the effect of controlling for demographic factors on Research Questions 2-4, and (6) For the three years of the America's choice mathematics program (Year 1, Year 2, and Continuation 1), how does the progress of the America's Choice schools compare to that statewide for the same period? For this study, the researcher analyzed the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills (CTBS/5) Normal Curve Equivalency (NCE) mathematics scores for third grade/exiting primary students in seven Kentucky schools implementing America's Choice in mathematics. Achievement data from the Kentucky Department of Education for the years 2001-2005 were collected across four cohorts, including year prior to implementation, two years of implementation, the following continuation year, and related demographic factors. Research Questions 2-5 utilized two multiple regression models to study the relationships between math achievement, change model predictors (year of implementation, schools, beginning year), and demographics. One sample t tests were employed for RQs 1 and 6. All analyses were conducted using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) computer program. Results of the study on the seven Kentucky elementary schools were inconclusive. While the statistical analysis indicated gains in mathematics achievement for some schools, others demonstrated declines during implementation years and continuation year. For demographic variables, size of school had the strongest correlation (r = .140) with NCE math scores. This research provides insights for schools considering adopting America's Choice as a reform model impacting mathematics achievement. Since this study was specific to Kentucky, future research is needed to expand to other states.