Date of Award

Summer 8-17-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Ed.D. in Education Leadership Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Anthony Colella, Ph.D

Committee Member

Jan Furman, Ed.D

Committee Member

Christopher Tienken, Ed.D

Committee Member

Claire Reder, Psy.D


educational assessment, curriculum and instruction, educational leadership, educational policy


This non-experimental, correlational, explanatory, cross-sectional study using quantitative methods sought to determine which combination of 20 out-of-school community demographic factors, while controlling for two school level variables, predicted and accounted for the most variance in New Jersey schools’ percentages of students scoring Proficient or above on the 2010 NJ ASK Language Arts Literacy in sixth and seventh grades. This study focused on both community variables and school level variables to determine whether the current federal and state evaluation policies in place for schools and school personnel that utilize student outcomes on high-stakes standardized assessments are reasonable. The study examined over 300 schools in New Jersey. Using simultaneous and hierarchical linear regression, two community variables, households over $200,000 and female households in poverty, were identified as statistically significant predictors at both grade levels. The contribution of households over $200,000 ranged between 1.2% and 44%. Although statistically significant in both grades, female households in poverty contributed a small amount of variance, ranging from 1% to 1.8%. Two other variables that represent poverty, all families in poverty and all people under poverty for 12 months, were also present in both grades, contributing from 3% to 48% of the variance in the models. These findings illustrated that family and community variables influence student achievement on high-stakes assessments in Grades 6 and 7. At the Grade 6 level, 76% of schools’ percentage of students scoring Proficient or above on the 2010 NJ ASK LAL were accurately predicted. At the Grade 7 level, 71.76% of schools’ percentage of students scoring Proficient or above on the NJ ASK LAL 2010 were accurately predicted.