Author: Kris J. Black
Title: The Comparison of Three 8th Grade to 9th Grade Transition Programs in a South Florida High School
Institution: Florida Atlantic University
This study compared three groups of ninth grade students in a selected high school in South Florida. The three groups were ninth grade students who attended Blanche Ely High School in Broward County, Florida during the 1999-2001 school years. The first program is the Ninth Grade Learning Community Academy or LCA. This program was housed on the north campus of Broward Community College. The second program is the Environmental Science Technology Program or ESTP. This program parallels the LCA program, but was housed on the main campus of Blanche Ely High School. The third group was randomly selected from ninth grade students who attended Blanche Ely School’s main campus. This random sample served as the control group.
Factors that were associated with academic success such as low socio-economic status, an urban community, and ethnicity were represented equally in all groups. Special education students and those students who were classified as limited language proficiency were eliminated from this study.
The purpose of this study was to determine which school environment had the most positive impact on eighth graders transitioning into the ninth grade as determined by GPA, attendance, and school climate. The significance of this research was generated by the fact that 38.2 percent of Broward County ninth graders failed to achieve a 2.0 GPA during the 1997-98 school year.
The primary means of data collection for this study was through (a) transcript evaluation using grade point average, (b) attendance records and (c) school climate survey attitudes. The data collected covered August 1999 through February 2001.
The School Board of Broward County, Florida may determine through this study which environment was most beneficial to increasing student achievement, attendance, and school climate at the ninth grade level. There are currently 23 high schools in Broward County. Each high school enrolls approximately 800 to 1000 rising ninth graders each year and the number is growing (Broward Schools, 1999). The goal of the School Board of Broward County, Florida is to increase student achievement at all levels. By creating alternatives to the large traditional high school environment, students at the ninth grade level might be more successful in their academic pursuits thus raising the standards of excellence in the county.
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