Publication Date


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)



Leadership and Higher Education


Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Dissertation Chair

Ronald Morgan, Ed.D.

Committee Members

Robert Denham, Ph.D.

Ronald Williams, Ed.D.


education; high achieving students; high school; No Child Left Behind


Educational Leadership | Secondary Education


The purpose of this study was to ascertain whether students who enter high school in ninth grade and score proficient or advanced on their CST in English Language Arts remain proficient or advanced 2 years later in 11th grade. The effects of NCLB will be considered as a contributing factor to the difference in student scores. This study was designed to determine what can be changed so that NCLB can better accommodate the needs of high-achieving students. This study examined the relationships between quantifiable variables and student standardized test score outcomes in a population of high school students in 2 High Desert school districts in Southern California.

This study utilized a quantitative research design to compare scores of the English Language Arts section of the California STAR test for proficient and advanced students who attended 9th and 11th grades at 2 high schools in 2 Southern California school districts. A quasi experimental design, using pre-post, matched-paired data was employed. Results of the 2009 STAR Test in English Language Arts were used as pretest data in order to set the baseline and were compared to the 2011 data. Dependent t tests, ANOVA, ANCOVA, and regression analysis were used.

Quantitative data analysis revealed that there was a strong relationship between student free and reduced lunch status, student GPA, and student honors/AP courses status in regard to continued success on the ELA STAR test. Additionally, there was a significant reduction of scores of both proficient and advanced students in both Districts A and B. Not a formal hypothesis, but discovered through regression analysis, the district in which a student attends school is also a positive predictor for a decreased score 2 years later. Students in District B had a higher probability of a decreased score in 2011. There is great statistical significance in all examined predictors, meaning that changes in the test scores are attributable to the variables between 2009 and 2011. The relationship or correlation which emerged between NCLB and any change in standardized test scores was also discussed.


© 2012 Susan Levine

All Rights Reserved

ISBN: 9781267574497