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Education achievement communities: A new model for "kind of community" in Massachusetts based on an analysis of community characteristics affecting educational outcomes
Assessing student achievement in more authentic ways is a major element of school improvement efforts all across the nation. Massachusetts is implementing a comprehensive student assessment program that will provide information about individual and district progress in mastering new curricula and academic standards. On the local level, school systems are instituting broader assessments to gauge progress. With the rich new data that these efforts will provide comes an opportunity to deepen our understanding of what contributes to educational success. We know that student achievement is dependent upon many elements both inside and outside of the classroom including background community factors. This project is designed to explore the relationship between community demographics and outcomes on an education achievement test, the 1996 Massachusetts statewide assessments. By using census data and statistical techniques including cluster analysis, multiple regression, and factor analysis, it is possible to develop a model of education achievement communities that groups municipalities by their affinity for educational achievement. The resultant regression formula and the listing of communities provide researchers with a mechanism to account for the impact of background community characteristics on aggregate achievement results. This analytical study utilized 1990 census data and the results of the 1996 Massachusetts Education Assessment Program to explore the relationship between community characteristics and educational achievement. The project produced two products: a comprehensive community data base; and a kind of community model based on a Community Achievement Factor (CAF), developed in the study, that is the basis for organizing the Commonwealth's 351 cities and towns into 14 education affinity groupings.
Educational evaluation|Educational sociology|Geography
Gaudet, Robert Daniel, "Education achievement communities: A new model for "kind of community" in Massachusetts based on an analysis of community characteristics affecting educational outcomes" (1998). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9841870.