Year Round School and Reading Achievement

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by KRJensen
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Year Round School and Reading Achievement

The Effects of Year-Round School on 3rd Grade Reading Achievement

QuestionDoes going to a year-round school schedule significantly increase reading success for 3rd grade students?

Study Design This project will use correlation research to test the initial hypothesis. Two groups of high-poverty 3rd grade students will be compared. The first group 3rd graders at Martin Luther King Elementary will represent the year-round school model, while 3rd graders from Millwood PreK-8th will be the traditional school calendar model. Both schools are geographically similar, and have a similar number of 3rd grade students. Overall test scores, student’s race, gender and student growth will all be compared in the analysis. In order to also fully test the null -hypothesis, intervention hours and strategies will also be gathering and compared.

Summary of Literature ReviewIn all three of the research papers that were reviewed it was apparent that summer learning loss was a problem in lower socioeconomic schools. The problem for all was how to combat it. In the first study by Jennifer Graves multi-track vs. single-track year round school calendars where compared. In this study Graves found that a school multi-track calendar had significant negative effects on student achievement. The only reasoning for going to such a system would be to save money, because they are significantly more cost effective than single-track year round calendars. In the second study Hippel finds that even a single-track year round calendar may not be the solution low income schools are looking for to solve the achievement gap. Hippel finds that although students in year-round school have less summer loss they are still underperforming throughout the year. Hippel attributes this to multiple long breaks throughout the year, finding students to have small losses continually rather than one large summer loss. Changing the distribution of days was not effective, which is why Alexander, Entwisle, and Olson looked into summer programs and parent intervention. They found that more total days the students spent in school away from their low socioeconomic environment was the most effective way to help student achievement. Environmental factors were the greatest reason for the underachievement, so students in lower socioeconomic environments need more opportunities for growth through summer programs and parent education. This shows that just redistributing the school days may not be the answer for lower socioeconomic students.

Analytical ApproachA content analysis will be done to compare Oklahoma school reading test score data. The overall OSTP score percentages will be totaled. All data being used for the analysis is public record, so any inconsistences could be investigated by looking at other surrounding schools' data and evaluating any differences between schools that could have cause the inconsistency. A larger student sample could also easily be gathered if needed. All data points will then be graphed for comparison.

Hypothesis Going to a year-round school schedule alone will not significantly affect student achievement in reading.

Method of Data CollectionThe Oklahoma State 3rd Grade reading test scores will be collected from the department of Education's website after all finalized results are in place. Additional statistics about student intervention will also be collected from the site principals at each school.

Kathleen JensenUniversity of Central Oklahoma


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