Comparing academic achievement of students accelerated in Mathematics to their non-accelerated peers.
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SubjectEducational acceleration.; Mathematics -- Study and teaching.; Education -- Curricula.; Observation (Educational method).
This thesis investigated the mathematics acceleration policy of a suburban school district and its academic effects on students. This study was conducted using a comparative analysis of accelerated and non-accelerated students from two classes, and comparing and contrasting the teachers' and administrations’ beliefs about the acceleration policy. The study was performed using a mixed methodology. The quantitative portion of the study was carried out using De-identified historical data, and a teacher survey with a Likert scale. Qualitative data was collected in the form of face-to-face interviews with school administrators. The study yielded several results on the academic effects of the mathematics acceleration policy and beliefs about acceleration of the school district’s teachers and administration. Students who were accelerated in math were later able to take more advanced math courses than non-accelerated students. Accelerated students out performed non-accelerated students academically, but several non-accelerated students had similar academic achievement to their accelerated peers. Teachers and administrators reported mixed and contradicting data. Several advocated for an open acceleration policy for those few students who meet the established criteria, but also oppose the idea of expanding the current acceleration policy to include students who just missed meeting the acceleration criteria. Results indicated that the acceleration policy appeared to be executed based on the strength of tradition rather than promoting maximum access to challenging math coursework.
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