Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Teaching & Learning



The problem was to determine which factors had an effect upon the mean language arts, reading and composite scores reported for ninth grade students in selected accredited North Dakota high schools.


The study was designed to:

  1. 1. Determine what relationships might exist between achievement scores in reading and language arts, as measured by the Iowa Tests of Educational Development (ITED), and various selected educational and demographic variables.
  2. 2. Determine whether and the degree to which change in achievement levels had occurred from 1971 to 1972 and 1973.
  3. 3. Determine what differences in mean achievement scores existed between schools grouped on the basis of enrollment in grades 9 through 12, i.e., Group I, 100-199 students, and Group II, 200 students or more.
  4. 4-. Examine the following research questions:
    1. A. What are the relationships between language arts and reading achievement scores of ninth graders in Group I and Group II?
    2. B. What are the relationships between language arts and reading achievement and the composite scores between and among the systems and groups?
    3. C. What are the relationships between reading, language arts, and composite achievement scores of ninth grade students and selected educational variables?


The population from which the sample was drawn consisted of all accredited North Dakota high school districts whose 9th through 12th grade enrollment exceeded 99 students . The sample for the study included 31 schools in the 100-199 category and J2 schools in the 200 and above category. These schools included 58 per cent of the total ninth grade student population.

Data were obtained for the years 1971, 1972 and 1973, and included the mean scores of the ITED sub-tests of reading and language arts and the composite battery mean for each school district included in the study. Mean scores included the ITED mean standard scores-and the ITED growth scale values taken from data supplied by SBA to the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction. Additional data were obtained through a prearranged telephone interview with the school district superintendent or his desiginate.

Twenty-four selected educational factors were established as independent variables to be statistically related to the dependent variables used. These were: (1) mean growth scales for reading,, language arts and composite scores for 1971), 1972 and 1973 and (2) mean standard reading, language arts and composite scores for 1971, 1972 and 1973.

Results of the Study Multiple linear regression of analysis was employed to examine the research questions. The .05 level of significance was selected a priori. There was little difference between groups in the mean scores found in the first two years, 1971 and 1972, with whatever advantage there was belonging to the Group II (larger) schools. In general, however, mean scores for 1972 showed a marked decline from1971 mean scores, and while 1973 scores recovered from the1972 lows, they did not return to the level of 1971* Both the standard scores and the growth scale values generally indicated this trend.

When standard scores and growth scale values were compared for reading, language arts and composite scores, the Group II schools generally indicated the higher mean scores in each of the years 1971, 1972 and 1973.

Significant relationships were found between ninth grade mean scores for reading, language arts and composite scores in each of the three years and twelve educational variables. Occupancy of a New School Plant since 1970, and availability of a Community Library were variables which proved to be significant beyond the .05 level.

Other variables which were significantly related included: (1) Generative Transformational Texts, (2) School Organizational Plan, (3) Degree Higher than a B.A., (4) Self-contained Classroom and (5) six other variables found to be significant at the .05 level.


As a result of the analyses of the data, the following conclusions may be made with regard to the two groups of North Dakota school systems:

  • 1. System size contributed to the student achievement in reading, language arts and composite scores— mean student achievement was greater in larger schools.
  • 2. School systems in both groups showed a drop in mean scores from 1971 to 1972, with smaller schools indicating the greatest decline.
  • 3. Some of the educational variables which influenced the levels of achievement included:
    1. a) New School Plant Since 1970
    2. b) Library in the Community
    3. c) Degree Higher than a B.A. (for teachers)
    4. d) Generative Transformational Grammar Text (use of)
    5. e) Cost Per Pupil
    6. f) Average Daily Attendance

    A noteworthy observation of the significant demographic variables is that all of them are factors within local human regulation.

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