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Assessing Linguistic, Mathematical, and Visual Factors Related to Student Performance on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, Eighth Grade Mathematics Test.

Description: The No Child Left Behind Act and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics' Principles and Standards both had a significant impact on the format and content of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) math test. Content analysis of the 2004 TAKS eighth grade math test identified the prevalence of linguistic complexity, mathematical rigor, and visual presentation factors and explored their relationship to student success on individual test items. Variables to be studied were identified through a review of literature in the area of reading comprehension of math word problems. Sixteen variables of linguistic complexity that have been significantly correlated with student math test performance were selected. Four variables of visual presentation were identified and ten variables of mathematical rigor. An additional five variables of mathematical rigor emerged from preliminary study of the 2003 TAKS math test. Of the 35 individual variables, only four reached a significant level of correlation with the percent of students correctly answering a given test item. The number of digits presented in the problem statement and number of known quantities both exhibited a significant positive correlation with the dependent variable. The number of times a student had to perform a multiplication operation had a significant negative correlation with the percent of correct responses, as did the total number of operations required. Stepwise regression of these four variables revealed total number of operations and known quantities to be the best combination of predictors of correct responses. When grouped in categories by problem type and compared, items involving mathematical reasoning but no mathematical operations had a significantly higher percentage of correct responses than those requiring at least one operation. Further categorization revealed problems involving applications only (without computation) associated with the highest levels of correct responses, followed by those involving only computation. Items requiring both applications ...
Date: August 2005
Creator: Norgaard, Holly Luttrell
Partner: UNT Libraries

One-to-one technology and mathematics achievement for eighth grade girls and boys in the state of Maine.

Description: This study analyzed the eighth grade mathematics portion of the spring 2004 Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) achievement test and the survey questions that were also administered. The analysis was on a school-wide level (n = 182). The two survey questions used were: “Which statement best describes the use of calculators in your mathematics classes?” and "Which statement best describes how you use your laptop in mathematics class: getting data from the Web, finding mathematics problems online, creating graphs?" Correlational analysis, partial correlation, and regression were used to determine if there was any association between calculator usage, laptop usage, and mathematics achievement for girls and for boys in the first state-wide group of students to have one-to-one laptops in Maine. Calculator usage was found to be positively associated with mathematics achievement for both girls (partial correlation coefficient of .189 (p = .011)) and for boys (partial correlation coefficient of .193 (p = .010)) even after controlling for school size and socio-economic status. Though no significant association between laptop usage and mathematics achievement for either girls or boys was found, this may be more a reflection on the survey question being a weak measure than the usage of laptops. In a post-hoc analysis of findings, schools were rank ordered based on the average mathematics achievement score regardless of gender; the top 25% (n = 45) and the lower 25% (n = 45) of the schools were evaluated. In the top 25%, there was no statistically significant difference between school-wide girls' and boys' mathematics achievement scores. However, in the lower 25% of the schools, there was a statistically significant difference (p = .01) between the school-wide average of girls' and boys' mathematics achievement scores, with the girls' score being 1.49 points higher (p = .01, d = .447) than the boys'. Recommendations for ...
Date: May 2007
Creator: Overall, Theresa Lynne
Partner: UNT Libraries

Analysis of Special Education Compliance and Special Education Funding in Four Texas Open-Enrollment Charter Schools.

Description: The purpose of this study was to conduct an in-depth examination of special education services in open-enrollment charter schools in north Texas and to examine relationships between special education compliance and funding. Six questions guided the research: How have the charter schools designed special education services, and do these services meet individual needs of students with disabilities? Have federal education and disability laws affected charter schools' admissions, operations, or student performance ratings? What were the levels of special education funding and compliance with federal and state regulations? Is there a relationship between special education funding and special education compliance with rules and regulations? Studies at the national and state levels have frequently been conducted in the form of surveys, and provide only preliminary information about the status of special education in charter schools. There is a paucity of case specific information about the management and delivery of special education services in open-enrollment charter schools. A within-case study research design was used for this investigation utilizing qualitative methods of structured open-ended interviews, observations at the schools, and document analysis. Administrators at four open-enrollment charter schools were interviewed to gather data for this multi-case study. The data supported the hypotheses related to special education services in open-enrollment charter schools. The schools in this study provided special education services with an inclusion model for the first two years. In their first years of operation, charter schools face challenges of small budgets, few if any special education students, and difficulty finding special education teachers and other staff. In the third year and beyond, the schools were able to add special education services and staff and were more stable in terms of budget and operations. For the time period analyzed, special education costs exceeded special education funding. Compliance with special education regulations was relatively high ...
Date: December 2003
Creator: Rudebusch, Judith
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Action of Action Research: An Analysis of Action Research Projects Completed in the UNT/Denton ISD PDS

Description: This paper discusses an analysis of action research projects completed in the UNT/Denton Independent School District (ISD). Action research is the inquiry part of a Professional Development School (PDS) model that all UNT elementary education, pre-service teacher/student interns complete with mentor teachers during student teaching.
Date: April 19, 2012
Creator: Potter, Codi & Tunks, Jeanne L.
Partner: UNT Honors College

Becoming a Teacher of Mathematics to Elementary Students

Description: This paper discusses research on becoming a teacher of mathematics to elementary students. This is an auto-ethnography of a pre-service teacher during the first semester of Professional Development School, documenting the journey as a learner and teacher of mathematics for this pre-service teacher.
Date: April 19, 2012
Creator: Walker, Wynona & Tunks, Jeanne L.
Partner: UNT Honors College

Searching for hidden treasure: The identification of under-represented gifted and talented students.

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of staff development on the nomination and identification of culturally diverse and/or economically disadvantaged students for gifted programs. Teachers kindergarten through fifth grade from ten districts (N = 100) received 30 hours of staff development in gifted education. The experimental group (n = 50) received a specialized version of the training. The control group (n = 50) received the standard training provided by the Education Service Center. Teachers in the experimental group completed three Stages of Concern questionnaires at the beginning and end of the training and in the fall. Two Levels of Use interviews were also conducted, one in the fall and one in the spring. Innovation configurations were developed utilizing interview results. A repeated measures analysis of variance was conducted to determine differences in concerns of teachers over time. The results revealed growth, however, not of a significant level. A paired-samples t-test was conducted to determine differences in levels of use of the instructional strategies presented in the training. Again, results revealed growth in classroom application of strategies; however, the amount of growth was not significant. A paired-samples t-test was conducted on the components of the innovation configurations. Differentiated instruction was not significantly different, however, grouping strategies and student products showed significant growth in classroom application. Student nomination and identification data were analyzed across six ethnicities: White not economically disadvantaged, White economically disadvantaged, Hispanic not economically disadvantaged, Hispanic economically disadvantaged, African American not economically disadvantaged, and African American economically disadvantaged. Chi-square analyses determined statistical significance in nominations of Hispanic economically disadvantaged and African American not economically disadvantaged. Significant differences in placement of students occurred in White economically disadvantaged and Hispanic economically disadvantaged groups. No Hispanic not economically disadvantaged students met placement criteria.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Tucker, Tammy Newman
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Academic Interventions on the Development of Reading Academic Competence in Fourth Grade Students.

Description: This dissertation examined the effects of academic interventions on the development of reading academic competence in fourth grade students who performed at or below grade level as determined by TAKS reading scale scores. Fifty students in fifth grade were chosen to participate in the study from five elementary schools in the Fort Worth Independent School District in Fort Worth, Texas. Only 46 students completed the study. The study was conducted with a control (n = 23) and treatment group (n = 23). The fourth grade students were administered pretests and posttests using the ACES and the fourth grade TAKS reading test. This quantitative study used a quasi-experimental design to answer the research questions. The final data results did not indicate that the implementation of interventions significantly increased TAKS reading scores at the p > .05 level. In addition, there were no significant increases at the p > .05 level between the ACES pretests and posttests. Although there were no significant gains on the TAKS or ACES, there are implications the interventions had a positive effect on teacher perceptions of their students' academic competence and some growth was evident for the treatment groups on both TAKS and ACE.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Hernandez-Gutierrez, Josie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Becoming a Teacher of Mathematics to Elementary Students [Presentation]

Description: Presentation for the 2012 University Scholars Day at the University of North Texas discussing research on becoming a teacher of mathematics to elementary students. The research is an auto-ethnography of a pre-service teacher during the first semester of Professional Development School, documenting the journey as a learner and teacher of mathematics for this pre-service teacher.
Date: April 19, 2012
Creator: Walker, Wynona & Tunks, Jeanne L.
Partner: UNT Honors College

The Action of Action Research: An Analysis of Action Research Projects Completed in the UNT/Denton ISD PDS [Presentation]

Description: Presentation for the 2012 University Scholars Day at the University of North Texas discussing Action Research and the inquiry part of a Professional Development School (PDS) model that all UNT elementary education, pre-service teacher/student interns complete with mentor teachers during student teaching.
Date: April 19, 2012
Creator: Potter, Codi & Tunks, Jeanne L.
Partner: UNT Honors College