Doctor of Education (EdD)
First Committee Member
Robert S. McCord
Second Committee Member
Chad L. Cross
Number of Pages
No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requires states to develop, under very specific conditions, a valid and reliable system of measurement that meets certain requirements while neglecting others. One such provision is a system of assessments that holds all schools to the same academic criteria, regardless of circumstance, while at the same time acknowledging an achievement gap exists between certain subpopulations of students. Nevada has developed such a program, which effectively fulfills the requirements of NCLB, and like NCLB, neglects to recognize the unique challenges for those schools housing larger than average populations of lower-performing students; Historically, when discussing the achievement gap much attention has been placed on social difficulties of certain subpopulations, which may or may not contribute. It is not the intention of this study to examine social issues associated with racial subgroups or special populations of students. Regardless of the contributing factors, it will suffice to hypothesize a difference in subgroup performance exists. It is simply the intention of this study to examine the performance of schools within homogeneous clusters developed through subgroup membership. It is the belief of this researcher that a school's dominant student population will have a significant influence on academic performance, which if not considered could result in grave consequences with respect to NCLB. Using cluster analysis, schools were classified based upon dominant student populations and determinations made concerning statistically significant differences in mean reading and mean math CRT scale scores for those schools contained within homogenous clusters; It was found that although NCLB requires schools to report the academic performance of students belonging to subgroup's American Indian, Asian, Hispanic, African American, White, IEP, LEP, and FRL, the only subgroups that provide valid and measureable results were Asian, African American, I Hispanic, White, and IEP. Further, schools did demonstrate significant differences in mean reading and mean math scale scores with select schools performing significantly above expectations, certain schools performing significantly below expectations, and many demonstrating no significant difference relative to similar populations located in homogeneous clusters.
Academic; Academic Performance; Achievement; Analysis; Cluster Analysis; Demographic; Demographic Homogeneous Subsets; Education; Ethnicity; Evaluate; Homogeneous; Performance; Subsets
Educational tests and measurements; Education, Elementary; Mathematics--Study and teaching; Individualized reading instruction
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
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Halsell, Jeffrey N, "Using cluster analysis to evaluate the academic performance of demographic homogeneous subsets" (2007). UNLV Retrospective Theses & Dissertations. 2761.