Students' Mathematics Achievement Scores By Duration of Instruction In Texas Public High Schools

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership and School Counseling

First Advisor

Thelma J. Roberson

Advisor Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling


Accountability for public high schools to provide a rigorous educational curriculum and produce high levels of student achievement has become a part of the culture of public education. Time is one element in the educational process which has the ability to promote higher levels of student achievement. The duration of instruction (i.e., one or two semesters) for a specific subject has the potential to directly impact student learning (Office of Research and Development of the College Board [ORD/CB], 1998). This study examined if there was a difference in mathematics achievement scores for students who received instruction for one semester or two semesters in tenth grade Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS) mathematics scores when adjusted by eighth grade TAAS mathematics scores (TAAS) between the independent variables of duration of instruction, race, gender, and socio-economic status. The sample size consisted of 2,409 tenth grade students who had tenth grade mathematics TAAS scores from 2000-2001 with corresponding eight grade mathematics TARS scores from 1998-1999. The sample was selected from districts throughout Texas which had all three scheduling types (i.e. A/B block, accelerated block, and traditional) implemented for a minimum of three years. The variables of race and gender were representative of Texas' population. Public archival data from the Texas Education Agency was used. An analysis of covariance was used to analyze the data at the .05 significance level. The study found that there was a statistically significant difference in mathematics TAAS scores on each variable. There was no statistically significant interaction between duration of instruction and race, gender, or socio-economic status. This study indicates that the A/B block schedule with extended blocks of time over a span of two semesters produces the highest level of student achievement in mathematics. The traditional schedule produced the second highest level of student achievement. The accelerated block schedule produced the lowest level of student achievement which provides the extended blocks of time for mathematics instruction without the longer duration of instruction. Principals should consider scheduling types which offer mathematics over two semesters with the extended block of time.