Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


Dr. Ronald


This final report describes the development and the implementation of a program to improve student math achievement at Pepperell Middle School. Analysis of academic records indicated 30 percent of the students received a "D" or "F" for the last semester of the 1989-1990 school year. Seventy-three percent of the students retained, were not promoted because of difficulties in math achievement. Total math scores on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills and the Georgia Criterion Referenced Test declined for each grade from the 1988-1989 school year. Probable causes for the lack of achievement in math were identified as: a possible curriculum mismatch between what is tested and what is taught, math teachers with less than satisfactory evaluations during classroom observations by administrators, the number of students who do not complete homework, the number of teachers without training in Mastery Learning theory, and the lack of special programs for remedial and advanced math students. Planned solution components were: a study of the congruency of the math curriculum objectives, individual assistance for math teachers with instructional needs as identified by classroom observation, the development of a homework assistance program, Mastery Learning workshops for math teachers, and the development of special math programs to assist remedial and advanced math students. Terminal and process objectives were achieved at projected levels with the exception of one math standardized test. Achievement scores on math tests increased from March 1990 to March 1991 to the highest level in the history of the school. “At risk” students were identified and 225 students were placed in an after school academic study program. Only two of 760 students failed to pass math or to master all required math objectives for the 1990-1991 school year. In addition, teachers completed a study of the middle grades math curriculum, participated in Mastery Learning inservice, and received intensive assistance from administrators.

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