The impact of a science professional development program on student achievement in high school
Flynt, Steven William
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The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a science professional development program as it related to Dacula High School’s student scores on the science portion of the Georgia High School Graduation Test (GHSGT) over a two-year period (2001-2002 and 2002-2003). All data were collected from existing records from Dacula High School in Gwinnett County, Georgia. The professional development program activities provided release days and contract time for teachers to work together on strategies to increase student achievement on standardized high-stakes tests, specifically the GHSGT. These professional development activities focused on scoring techniques, knowledge, and process skills. Teachers were given specific activities to implement in their classes and time to observe other teachers in similar activities. The study was comprised of all regular education students at Dacula High School who were in their junior year and who were taking the GHSGT for the first time. The standard scaled score was used for ITBS (covariate) scores as well as for the GHSGT scores for all the students in this study. There were a total of 1205 students in the study. The research design was an ex-post facto study using analysis of covariance. The results of the analysis of the data indicated that the Dacula GHSGT science professional development program was statistically significant in increasing student scores on the science portion of the GHSGT. The professional development program showed an increase in effectiveness during the second year it was implemented. The data were disaggregated by student gender, ethnicity, and income level. The results of the study indicated that the program was equally effective for all groups of students.