• Comparing academic achievement of students accelerated in Mathematics to their non-accelerated peers.

      Bongiovanni, Bryan (2014)
      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.
    • Parent and teacher attitudes toward bilingual education.

      Morgan, Evan N. (2015)
      The amount of English language learners (ELLs) in the United States has steadily increased over the past several decades and continues to grow (Nieto, 2004; Ovando, Collier, & Combs, 2006). This increase in ELLs has driven many to contemplate how to best address the learning needs of these growing numbers of students (Slavin & Cheung, 2005). While there are currently several existing models for teaching ELLs, many researchers have promoted the effectiveness of bilingual education as a means for teaching these students (Besel, Glass, Montoya-Tannatt, & Bachelor, 1982; Lindholm-Leary, 2001; Rolstad, Mahoney & Glass, 2005). However, there is still a need for more research regarding the attitudes and beliefs of the teachers and parents of these students regarding bilingual education, particularly in areas where bilingual education is not yet offered and yet is often required via a policy change. Therefore, the goal of this study was to determine the attitudes and beliefs of parents and teachers regarding bilingual education being implemented in their school district, before a new law mandating it is enforced. The participants of this study included parents and teachers in four elementary and middle schools in a large, urban district in Western New York. A paper-based Likert-scale survey was used to collect data from teachers and parents. Results indicated that parents and teachers are generally supportive of bilingual education and its principles and that the creation of bilingual education programs is warranted in the future. This study intends to add to the existing literature and research in this area.
    • The role of cursive writing on the curricular landscape of public schools today.

      Bova, Robert (2015)
      The advent of the word processor has led to the slow demise of cursive writing, including the decline in time spent teaching this form of writing in public schools today. The topic of the value and role of cursive writing in the public school has been surfacing frequently in the news media and social media of the last five years. Thus a research question forms for a literacy specialist as to what is the role of cursive writing on the curricular landscape of public schools today? The most appropriate way to address this question is with empirical research using thematic analysis of a collection of news media and social media documents as found on the internet. Results of this analysis find that most of the writings occur in news venues (major online newspapers and smaller news venues online) and in the form of articles and comments on articles, with while newspaper articles more than double any non-comment genre. The second finding is that teachers and educators comprise the largest identifiable writer type, accounting for nearly 55% of known writers; parents, news reporters, and students for second place. A third finding is that the data content supportive of retaining cursive writing in schools is at least 2 to 1, meaning that support for retaining cursive writing in schools is more than double the support for removing it from school curriculum.