At risk students and state exams: An RX for student success
This study focused on evaluating the success of an intervention at a suburban high school in New York State for students “at-risk” of achieving the Regents Diploma requirements in Mathematics. It compared the achievement of 25 “at-risk” students who participated in the intervention with the achievement of 136 students not exposed to the intervention. All participants began 9th grade in 1998 and were exposed exclusively to one group for a two-year period. The first question takes an administrative perspective focused on the program as a combination of structural components that frame instruction: “looping”, “parallel classes”, extended class time, small class size, and student centered instructional strategies. The Metropolitan Achievement Test 6 was used as a covariate. Scores on the Sequential Mathematics 2 Regents Examination provided output variables. The major finding was no statistically significant achievement differences between at-risk students who participated in the intervention and students in traditional classes, F (2,158) = 6.66, P = .191, when adjusted for pre-treatment achievement. This was not the expected outcome, which would have predicted that the Regents students would achieve higher than the RX students. Three additional questions focused on the relationships between learning patterns, program participation and achievement. The Learning Combination Inventory: Form II provides data on student learning patterns. Students exposed to the intervention, who are more likely to use a precise learning pattern, are more likely to score lower on the Sequential 2 Mathematics Regents Exam. The Pearson Correlation Coefficient of −.420 is moderately meaningful, indicating that a precise learning pattern accounts for 17.6% of the variance in Sequential 2 Mathematics scores, the higher the precision the lower the achievement. Students exposed to the intervention who are more likely to use a Confluent learning pattern are more likely to score higher on the Sequential 2 Mathematics Regents than other students. For these students the Pearson Correlation Coefficient of .44 is moderately meaningful, with student learning pattern accounting for 19.4% of the variance in Sequential 2 mathematics scores. Specifically, the higher the confluent score of students in the RX program, the more likely they scored higher on the Sequential 2 Mathematics Regents Exam.
0280: Mathematics education