The public education system in the United States is under increasing pressure to provide an equitable, effective, and relevant education for all students. In the United States, nearly one of every three students who begin high school does not graduate from high school, resulting in an earning gap of approximately $10,000 annually between students who graduate from high school and those who drop out of high school (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2009). The potential of millions of students, as well as society at large, is threatened by the fact that more than 50% of minority students drop out of high school before they graduate, limiting their access to opportunity for the rest of their lives (Orfield, 2009).
The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between student engagement (behavioral, cognitive, and emotional) and the standardized test scores of eighth grade students in three Wakta middle schools. A quantitative survey was used to access 8th graders` perception of their behavioral, cognitive, and emotional engagement. The engagement data was correlated to standardized test scores and demographic data for each student. Further analysis revealed increased engagement has a direct correlation to increased academic achievement. An academic achievement gap between minority students and white students exists in nearly every school district in the United States, and the Wakta school district is not immune to this educational and social reality. If our citizenry does not have the critical thinking, problem solving, or communication skills to compete in the globalized economy, jobs that would have been available to Americans will be outsourced to people who do have the requisite skills (Wagner, 2008).
University of Minnesota Ed.D. dissertation. September 2012. Major: Educational Policy and Administration. Advisor: Dr. Neal Nickerson. 1 computer file (PDF); xiii, 269 pages, apendices A-H.
Scheidler, Matthew James.
The relationship between student engagement and standardized test scores of middle school students: does student engagement increase academic achievement?.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.