A study of drop-outs from the accelerated mathematics classes of the Portland public schools, Portland, Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/5999n588d

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  • Statement of the problem: The study sought to determine whether certain measurable differences existed between students who had withdrawn after acceptance into the accelerated mathematics classes in the Portland schools and students who had persisted after acceptance into the program. Examined were: scores on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, the Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test, the Seattle Algebra Test, the Lankton First Year Algebra Test, the Iowa State Test of Educational Development, and the School and College Abilities Test; eighth grade and high school mathematics grades and total grade point averages; attendance; age; extra-curricular school activities and community activities; part-time jobs during the school year; sex; family composition; and occupations of parents. Subjects: Through the use of a random sampling technique, 160 subjects were selected from those 3,068 pupils who commenced the accelerated mathematics program in the Portland public schools in 1956, 1959, and 1960. Data sources: Data were collected from the files of the Mathematics Department, School District Number One, Portland, Oregon and the attendance records, transcripts, cumulative folders and counselors' personnel files in eleven high schools in the district. Statistics: The parametric statistic, Fisher's t, was employed to test the difference between means for the twenty variables which sufficiently satisfied the assumptions for its use. The distributions of observations for nine variables not satisfying these assumptions were examined by three nonparametric tests: the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, Fisher exact probability test, and the x² The test selected for each of the nine variables depended on the associated statistical model and level of measurement. A statistical analysis was not made for the variable of occupations of rents. Conclusions: Over all, except for the variable of sex, there were no statistically significant differences (at the .05 level of significance) for the variables tested between students who were accepted into and who withdrew from the accelerated Mathematics program in the Portland schools and those who were still in the program at the time of the study. This suggests that either the significant variables were not selected for testing; that patterns of multiple variables determine differences, rather than individual variables; or that the sample size was too small for the tests used. Four of six comparisons made for the variable of sex showed significance at the .05 level. The pattern set was that of more girls in the groups who dropped and more boys in the groups who persisted. The two groups that failed to follow the pattern were the two samples from the 1960 class.
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