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The Performance Of High School Students Education Essay

ABSTRACT

Literature: Includes many different articles about understanding the SAT and what academics are exactly. The Purpose of this study is to examine if whether or not a students performance in high school can predict how they will perform in their post secondary education. The Research seeks to discover if performance in High School students can predict their academic success before they attend College? Data and Methodology SAT data collected by Dartmouth University on 1000 students around the country. The data consists of a High School GPA, College GPA, and SAT score for each student. The data seeks to prove that SAT Scores will indicate a student’s GPA level and similarly, a high school GPA should correlate with a college GPA as well. Findings are that SAT Scores in High School and College performance do in fact correlate in one way or another. Limitations were that other variables could have been used to control for some of the results. Future Studies will need to include more that just the numbers and somehow separate by classification and give more of profile of the tested students.

Introduction

For many years people have been trying to figure out if you can possibly predict how you may perform in the future based on how one might have performed in the past. This is the perfect study for students who would like to know the age old question. “If I do good in Highschool, will I do just as good when I go to college?” This paper will examine SAT scores, Grade point averages, and other educational factors that might aide in trying to find significance to this question. The Researcher collected SAT data on Dartmouth University students and others around the country. The data consists of a High School GPA, College GPA, and SAT score for each student. As is commonly perceived SAT data should somehow relate to GPA in students. The researcher will give a review of the literature of what exactly the SAT is, and other forms of determining a student scholastic achievement. The researcher intends on being able to establish findings to aid in what is known as student development research.

Literature Review

Epstein, J. P. (summer 2009). Behind the SAT-Optional Movement: Context and Controversy. Journal of College Admission , 8-19.

This article discuss the Scholastic aptitude test also known as the (SAT), which came to be by the Electronic Testing Center also referred to as the ETS and former President of Harvard University James Conant.

It was originally designed to promote those students who are considered to be very intelligent. This was created as way to make an access to an education more attainable based purely on academic accomplishments, which in time allowed all students from every university to prove their worthiness based on intelligence instead of their money, and family reputations. The tests quickly establish the difference between those students who were academically intelligent and those who were in school for the social aspect. The SAT didn’t become as widely popular until the 1950’s, where it was considered a primary ways of getting into college (Epstein 2009).

The University of California first adopted the SAT in 1968, which solidified the test for the whole country to use. In 1990 the name was changed to Scholastic Assessment Test, to avoid having the test being viewed as something that just test a student’s innate ability. In 1994, the test came about many different problems when people felt that it did in fact measure overall intelligence. This article discusses the following: (1) How the SAT is used in today’s society; (2) The history and importance of why students should be scored; (3) How people view the SAT movement as a potential threat; (4) critiques of the SAT (5) Explains what is meant by the Fair Test and how The National Center for Fair and Open Testing allows the SAT to be adopted as well as its policies. It also will measure certain concerns of the SAT and also discuss how beneficial it really is (Epstein 2009).

Micceri, T. (january 2010). Assessing the Usefulness of SAT and ACT Tests in Minority Admissions. Education Resource Education Center , 21.

The source explains A brief narrative description of the journal article, document, or resource.if the standardize scores have any relationship on first time in college (FTIC) students' probable success at a university, and it uses an analysis of underrepresented minorities and women, who the author believes often experiences negative bias relative whites and males on standardize test. “It used methods that combined historical USF admissions, degrees granted and enrollment data from Academic Year (AY) 1999 through 2008 were analyzed for FTIC matriculates from AY 1999 through 2003 thereby allowing a minimum of six complete academic years for graduation”(Micceri 2010). In the article it defines academic progress as being a six level variable that ranges from 1 to 6.

The article goes into detail to explain predictor variables which are a combination of the highest SAT, ACT, GPA, high school class rank and etc. The article explains how the variables previously stated have an effect on many different definitions of academic progress. The study also researches women and minorities which go into detail about discrimination against underrepresented minorities. In the article figure 6 and 7 show that tests are positive that the progress of African Americans and Hispanics does not provide the necessary information regarding overall college performance of the students

Mlodinow, L. (july 2008). The SAT: An Essay in Uncertainty. Chronicle of Higher Education , 1.

A brief narrative description of the journal article, document, or resource.In this article, the author discusses information about the release of comprehensive exams and a study of the SAT. The College Board Website has a headline saying that the maker of the test was, "SAT Studies Show Test's Strength in Predicting College Success"(Mlodinow 2008). Another headline on the fairest website, which is a watchdog nonprofit organization that had been around for 23 years, came with a different conclusion. The conclusion that the College Board came too was that the SAT exam is not typically better than the old exam. "College Board Reports Confirm: New SAT is Not Significantly Better Predictor Than Old Exam." In FairTest's view, the old test was not a very useful predictor, either. The original SAT contained only math and verbal sections; the revised test added a writing section in 2005, including a 25-minute essay. Numbers always seem to carry the weight of authority, but if nine major publishers could deem the manuscript of the first Harry Potter book unworthy of publication, then is it reasonable to expect that an SAT rater can reliably make the fine distinctions called for when grading the writing test? In this article, the author argues that the process of grading the SAT's essay portion is so demonstrably subjective that the results are useless.

Coyle, T. R., & Pillow, D. R. (december 2008). SAT and ACT Predict College GPA after Removing. Intelligence, v36 n6 , 719-728.

This research examined whether the SAT and ACT would predict college grade point average (GPA) after removing g from the tests. SAT and ACT scores and freshman GPAs were obtained from a university sample (N=161) and the 1997 National Longitudinal Study of Youth (N=8984). Structural equation modeling was used to examine relationships among g, GPA, and the SAT and ACT. The g factor was estimated from commercial cognitive tests and the computer-adaptive Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. The unique variances of the SAT and ACT, obtained after removing g, were used to predict GPA. Results from both samples converged: While the SAT and ACT were highly g loaded, both tests generally predicted GPA after removing g. These results suggest that the SAT and ACT are strongly related to g, which is related to IQ and intelligence tests. They also suggest that the SAT and ACT predict GPA from non-g factors. Further research is needed to identify the non-g factors that contribute to the predictive validity of the SAT and ACT.

II. Research question and Hypothesis

This research will look at the history of the SAT exam and how it correlates with the Students that take it. The main research question is whether there a major similarity between students SAT scores, High School GPA’s, and College GPA’s

Hypothesis

Ho: There is no relationship between high school SAT scores and the grade point average of a post secondary students.

H01: There is no relationship between SAT scores of high school students and high school grade point averages.

H02: There is no relationship between High School grade point averages and Post Secondary grade point averages.

Data

The researcher measured certain data from across all 50 states and including the overall nations scores. The researcher took SAT mean scores of high school students, and also many other variables leading to college graduation rates from the respective states included. The researcher would like to note that some states rates were very difficult to find and compare due to the fact that in some major areas the ACT is what most high school students take to enter college, and in other areas the SAT is the test that colleges require. The researcher grouped both into the same category to give a better understanding of a students overall performance.

Dependent Variable

The researcher had decided to use two different dependent variables throughout the whole experiment one being SAT scores, and the other High School GPA The Dependent variable is SAT scores of high school students throughout the United States of America. The Operational definition of the dependent variable is the average mean of the math section and verbal section of the score.

The conceptual definition of the dependent variable according to the College Board is a standardized test which is required for college admission by many colleges and universities in the United States. More colloquially, the test is usually just called “the SAT,” and the letters are actually a pseudo-acronym, meaning that they don't stand for anything. As an alternative to the SAT, some colleges allow students to take the ACT another standardized test, and some schools have an “SAT optional” policy, meaning that students may submit scores, but they are not required. The dependent variable derives from the first form of the SAT was administered in 1901, when the College Board tested just under 1,000 students. The College Board continues to manage the SAT today, along with an assortment of other standardized tests used in university admissions; the test itself is designed and published by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Since 1901, the SAT has undergone a number of changes which were designed to streamline the testing process and to compensate for shifts in the education system. As of 2007, the last major SAT overhaul was in 2005, when the ETS retooled the SAT in response to harsh criticism from the University of California system, which considered dropping the test from their admission requirements. Coyle, T. R., & Pillow, D. R. (december 2008).

The current SAT includes three sections, each of which can earn a maximum score of 800 and a minimum score of 200. For the test-taker's final score, the College Board adds the three scores together; typically, a percentile is included with the score, calculated on the basis of scores from students who took comparable tests. Traditionally, top-flight universities such as the Ivy Leagues have demanded very high SAT scores from their applicants.

The first section of the SAT is mathematics, which is divided into three sections. Most of the questions have multiple choice answers, although several questions require test-takers to fill in their numerical answers on an optical answer sheet. The next section is critical reading, which requires test-takers to read short passages and fill out the correct responses to multiple choice questions. Students must also be able to fill in the blanks in sentences using a list of word choices, demonstrating vocabulary skills. Finally, the writing section of the SAT requires students to write a brief essay, and to respond to questions which test the writing and editing skills of the test-taker. Coyle, T. R., & Pillow, D. R. (december 2008).

Independent Variable I (College)

According to College Board, Post-secondary education, also called higher or tertiary education, is an optional level of studying beyond what is required by law. In America, school is compulsory through age 16 or until a certificate of completion is granted. Undergraduate, graduate and professional college programs are all types of post-secondary education.

In many countries, some schooling is required in order to provide citizens with a basic education. Typically, enforced education covers a wide variety of topics, such as mathematics, science, history, and literature. The goal of most compulsory studies is to ensure a basic survival knowledge that will prepare students for the working world.

There are many varieties of post-secondary education, as many different career paths require educational training beyond high school. Undergraduate programs, one of the most common types of post-secondary school, are typically four year courses of study that result in a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. These degree programs usually require two years of general education and two years of intensive study in a particular field, such as theater, biology, or psychology.

Graduate study programs are another form of post-secondary school, usually reserved for those with a BA or who have met alternative competency requirements. These programs typically award Master of Arts (MA) or Doctoral (PhD) degrees. Coyle, T. R., & Pillow, D. R. (december 2008).

Independent Variable II (High School)

According to education department a secondary school in the United States might also be known as a high school or as an academy. It usually provides educational instruction for students during the period from ages 14 to 18. A secondary school in the U.S. commonly consists of grades 9 through 12, with grade levels known as freshman, sophomore, junior and senior, respectively. Some larger school districts fund secondary schools that teach only grades 10, 11 and 12. Some secondary schools include students in grades seven and eight, along with the higher grade levels. Secondary schools represent the final stage of compulsory schooling in most U.S. states. School attendance is proscribed by state law until graduation or to a specific age, whichever comes earlier. Coyle, T. R., & Pillow, D. R. (december 2008).

Independent Variable (GPA)

GPA stands for grade point average which is a mathematical calculation of a student’s performance, grades wise and usually measures from 1.0 to 4.0 with a 4.0 GPA being the highest average. Strangely in my research I noticed that bad GPA’s coincide with the High School dropout rate. The Department of Education defines a drop out as being a student who leaves secondary school before the completion of a diploma. According to the Department of Education a few facts about drop outs are every year, 1.2 million students drop out of high school in the United States alone. That’s a student every 26 seconds – or 6,000 a day. More than a quarter of high school freshmen fail to graduate from high school on time. There are nearly 2,000 high schools in the U.S. where 40% of the typical freshman class leaves school by its senior year. More than one in four Hispanic youth drop out, and nearly half leave by the eighth grade.

Hispanics are twice as likely as African Americans to drop out. White and Asian American students are least likely to drop out. In the last 20 years, the earnings level of dropouts doubled, while it nearly tripled for college graduates. Recent dropouts will earn $200,000 less than high school graduates, and over $800,000 less than college graduates, in their lives. Dropouts make up nearly half the heads of households on welfare. In the U.S., 65% of convicts are dropouts. Lack of education is one of the strongest predictors of criminal activity. The dropout problem is likely to increase substantially through 2020 unless significant improvements are made. In America the high school graduation rate ranks 19th in the world. (Forty years ago, we were number one.) Epstein, J. P. (summer 2009).

Research Methods

The researcher is using data on the nominal level to test the hypothesis has ran a cross tabulation. The researcher will first run a Chi Square test which is basically a hypothesis testing model used when the IV & DV are nominal, and will help the researcher to discover the statistical significance of the model. This model will also help test for fit of distribution and Allow the researcher to count the number of responses in a given category between the observed versus expected cases to determine a normal distribution. The chi square test of Independence will help serve as a Goodness-of-Fit test for variables and will tests the normal distribution that two or more variables are independent of one another.

Next the researcher will run a contingency co-efficient test which wills measures the strength of association using nominal levels of measurement of the cross tabs function. This also will measure statistical significance of the model with the value measuring between 0 & 1 with 0 indicating no relationship. The researcher will be using a Cramers V which will measure the correlation among categorical variables and this statistical model will help to determine strength of association after Chi Square has determined significance.

Anticipating

The researcher is anticipating that the variables High School GPA will have a very strong relationship with the (x) Students SAT score. It only makes sense to the researcher those students who have better grades and do better in their classes will have much more of a success rate on the SAT. This is not always a for sure thing, because of the fact that some students do better when given time to study and learn subject matter in class versus being academic capability being measured by a single test. This debate is something that many scholars and educators have struggled with since the creation of all standardized test.

The researcher has taken into consideration that certain students are naturally not good test takers, but the majority of those who have the highest of grades in high school will indeed have a better SAT scores. A lot of the same can be assumed with the variable College GPA. The researcher believes that it will show significance, but perhaps not as strong as that of high school GPA. The researcher assumes that students who work hard in high school will also have the same amount of effort in their studies in college. The researcher does understand that college is a different environment, and sometimes the best of student fall to potential deviations of college. Interesting enough the researcher has decided to measure the relationship between High school GPA and College GPA. The researcher does not feel that the two variables will show significance with each other at all because of facts listed previously.

Limitations

The researcher has only a few minor concerns about the experiment. The first limitation is one that was mentioned previously, and it has to do with the fact of controlling for the fact that high school and college have two different forms of difficulty. There is so many different other variables that could be controlled for this data, but researcher have only a limited amount of information. The data does not explain for the fact that certain students may have went to more difficult schools than others, and data did not list which level of their academic career. It is well known that incoming freshmen probably have more difficulty adjusting, and knowing the college students classification would have helped tremendously.

Conclusion

The researcher found it very interesting to know that all 3 variables, SAT Score, College GPA, and High School GPA all had a statistical significant relationship amongst each other. When using SAT Score as the dependent variable and High School GPA as the independent variable, the researcher discovered that relationship between the two is statistically significant at the 99.9% confidence level. The researcher has decided to reject the null hypothesis and establish that; There is a relationship between student SAT scores and High School grade point averages.

When researching the relationship between the dependent variable of SAT scores and the independent variable College GPA, the researcher discovered that there is a statistical relationship at the 99.9 % confidence level. The researcher must reject the null hypothesis and establish an alternative stating that Sat scores do have an effect on College grade point averages. Finally the researcher tried to switch the dependent variable to obtain variety in the results and discovered that when measuring High School GPA and the dependent variable and College GPA as the independent is statistically significant at the 99.9% confidence level. The researcher must reject the null hypothesis and establish an alternative that a students High School GPA does have an affect on the College GPA. Once again the researcher will note that there are a lot of other variables that could have been controlled for, but due to insufficient data it was hard to do so.

Charts

Case Processing Summary

Cases

Valid

Missing

Total

N

Percent

N

Percent

N

Percent

SATSCORE * HSGPA

1001

100.0%

0

.0%

1001

100.0%

SATSCORE * COLLEGEGPA

1001

100.0%

0

.0%

1001

100.0%

HSGPA * COLLEGEGPA

1001

100.0%

0

.0%

1001

100.0%

Chi-Square Tests

Value

df

Asymp. Sig. (2-sided)

Pearson Chi-Square

4692.038a

2625

.000

Likelihood Ratio

1601.445

2625

1.000

N of Valid Cases

1001

a. 2735 cells (100.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is .00.

Symmetric Measures

Value

Approx. Sig.

Nominal by Nominal

Phi

2.165

.000

Cramer's V

.366

.000

Contingency Coefficient

.908

.000

N of Valid Cases

1001

Chi-Square Tests

Value

df

Asymp. Sig. (2-sided)

Pearson Chi-Square

11226.047a

9870

.000

Likelihood Ratio

3559.635

9870

1.000

N of Valid Cases

1001

a. 10188 cells (100.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is .00.

Symmetric Measures

Value

Approx. Sig.

Nominal by Nominal

Phi

3.349

.000

Cramer's V

.566

.000

Contingency Coefficient

.958

.000

N of Valid Cases

1001

Symmetric Measures

Value

Approx. Sig.

Nominal by Nominal

Phi

4.811

.000

Cramer's V

.556

.000

Contingency Coefficient

.979

.000

N of Valid Cases

1001

Chi-Square Tests

Value

df

Asymp. Sig. (2-sided)

Pearson Chi-Square

23167.789a

21150

.000

Likelihood Ratio

5192.700

21150

1.000

N of Valid Cases

1001

a. 21508 cells (100.0%) have expected count less than 5. The minimum expected count is .00.


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