Date of Award

Fall 10-22-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

PhD Higher Education Leadership, Management, Policy

Department

Education Leadership, Management and Policy

Advisor

Christopher H. Tienken, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Gerard Babo, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Eunyoung Kim, Ph.D.

Keywords

High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA), Language Arts (Secondary), Mathematics (Secondary), Human Capital, Social Capital, Standardized Assessment, Barriers to Higher Education, High Stakes Tests

Abstract

This study examined the relationship between the 2013 New Jersey High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) Language Arts and Mathematics scores and school level data related to family human capital and community social capital found in the extant literature to influence student achievement on high-stakes standardized assessments. School level data included percentage of families in poverty for 12 months, percentage of lone-parent households (total), and percentage of population with some college. Final analysis utilized hierarchical linear regression and the application of a mathematical algorithm found in extant literature. The study incorporated New Jersey high schools that (a) tested more than 25 students in the 11th grade, (b) had valid 2013 NJ HSPA results in the Language Arts and Mathematics sections, and (c) complete census data existed for the communities they served. The final sample size included 168 towns in the state of New Jersey. The final Language Arts model was able to accurately predict 125 of the 168 (74%) passing rates within 4 percentage points, factoring for the model’s standard error of the estimate. The final Mathematics model was able to accurately predict 131 of the 168 (78%) passing rates within 8 percentage points, factoring for the model’s standard error of the estimate.

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