Factors Influencing Improved Student Achievement In Virginia




Linehan, Patrick D.

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At the beginning of the last decade, Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2002. Key provisions of this act focused on holding schools accountable to ensure that all students met state established standards. In Virginia, the state Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments form the basis of measuring student achievement. Previous studies have identified the importance of family and socio-economic status factors on student performance. Other studies have examined the effects of resources, teachers and school characteristics on student achievement with varying results and interpretations. The purpose of this study is determine the factors that affect achievement in Virginia and to determine whether the Virginia results are similar to or different from national studies. The study examines student achievement from 2001 through 2011 with particular attention on school years 2007 to 2009. This study does not examine specific provisions established and implemented by the states in accord with NCLB requirements. Rather, it examines factors traditionally seen to influence achievement and to determine the effects of those factors in the NCLB era.



Student achievement, Student background, No child left behind, Resources, Accountability, Teacher characteristics