Term of Award

Fall 2009

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Charles Reavis

Committee Member 1

Christy Walcott

Committee Member 2

Mary Jackson

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of after school learning centers in a rural school district in South Carolina on Measures of Academic Progress achievement scores for low achieving African American elementary students. The researcher collected and analyzed Palmetto Achievement Challenge Test data administered in the Spring of 2008 from the state database and identified 419 African American low achieving fourth and fifth grade students for the study. The Educational Accountability Act of South Carolina requires that schools develop individual academic plans and provide remediation for students in grades three through eight who score Below Basic on the state mandated test. After school programs are one avenue by which these needs are being met. Students were categorized into three groups: students attending after school programs with an academic focus; students attending after school programs with academics plus a recreational component; and students not participating in an after school program. Grade percentile ranking scores were collected from the local school database for Cognitive Abilities Test Composite score and Measures of Academic Progress Reading and Math Fall 2008 and Spring 2009 test administration. Students' names were used only during the database query and sorting process. After sorting, names were removed and replaced with random identification numbers to protect student anonymity. The results showed that the cognitive abilities scores were significantly related to the Measures of Academic Progress Reading scores but after controlling for cognitive abilities there were no significant differences among the three student groupings found in the reading achievement. There were significant differences among the three student groupings found on the math achievement; however, the cognitive abilities scores were not significantly related to the Measures of Academic Progress Math scores. Implications include a need for examining the after school programs to determine what changes could be made in the reading program to make a positive impact on student achievement. Additionally, more research and data collection could help school administrators be better informed of their after school programs and assist in better serving children in their schools.

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