Date of Award

Summer 8-2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Chair

Dr. David Lee

Committee Chair Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 2

Dr. James T. Johnson

Committee Member 3

Dr. Rose McNeese

Committee Member 3 Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 4

Dr. Daniel Eadens

Committee Member 4 Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Abstract

Many school districts throughout the United States utilize educational programs in their schools to improve student achievement. The Southern Regional Education Board recognized that to improve graduation rates in high school, students’ academic performance in middle schools needed to be improved, which gave rise to the Making Middle Grades Work initiative. The researcher conducted this study to determine the perceptions of the effectiveness of Making Middle Grades Work initiative. Participants in this study included 114 teachers and 18 administrators. The participants indicated their perceptions of the effectiveness of the Making Middle Grades Work initiative by responding to questions on a survey that utilized a Likert scale. The researcher collected quantitative data on students’ achievement scores on the Alabama Reading and Math Test during the years 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. The researcher conducted an independent sample t test to determine if there was a significant difference between teachers’ and administrators’ perceptions of the effectiveness of the Making Middle Grades Work initiative. After the researcher conducted an independent sample t test, the researcher determined that there was a significant difference between the teachers’ and administrators’ perceptions of effectiveness of the Making Middle Grades Work initiative. The mean scores of the administrators were higher than the teachers mean scores. This indicated that the administrators had a stronger opinion about the effectiveness of the Making Middle Grades Work initiative than the teachers did. The researcher conducted a Pearson’s r to assess the relationship between the perception of the teachers and administrators and their schools’ score on the Alabama Reading and Math Test. The Pearson’s r test determined that there was no correlation between the variables. The researcher conducted a paired samples t test to compare 2010-2011 reading scores to 2011-2012 reading scores and to compare 2010-2011 math scores to 2011-2012 math scores. The paired samples t test determined that there was significant difference in the math and reading scores. iii

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