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Last modified: 7/23/2014 2:44:12 PM
Research and Evaluation

Summative Evaluation of PGCPS America’s Choice Program


The purpose of this summative evaluation is to determine the extent to which the America’s Choice program in PGCPS has helped low-performing students in low-performing schools make gains against their peers in achievement. The study examined to what extent: (1) the America’s Choice program helped schools improve their educational outcomes, measured by percent of students performing at the proficient or advanced levels on MSA reading and math; (2) participation in Ramp-Up Literacy is related to improvement in reading/language arts outcomes; and (3) Ramp-Up Literacy students are moving closer to being on grade in reading/language arts. A quasi-experimental design using hierarchical linear modeling was employed to determine the effect of the America’s Choice program on participating schools’ academic performance in reading and math. We also used a quasi-experimental design and analysis of covariance to examine the extent to which student involvement in Ramp-Up Literacy improved reading outcomes. We used three years of MSA data in reading and math – from SY2007, which was the year before implementation, to SY2009, which was the second year of full implementation. We compared the performance of nine participating middle schools and 22 participating elementary schools to other elementary and middle schools in PGCPS that were not using the America’s Choice program. There were no statistically significant differences in growth in reading and math proficiency between America’s Choice schools and schools not in America’s Choice – both groups increased in proficiency at similar rates across the two years. Students who were involved in Ramp-Up Literacy program were compared to a closely-matched group (i.e., Ramp-Up Eligible group) of students not enrolled in the program. In SY2008, there was no difference in increases in reading achievement between groups. In SY2009, results suggest that Ramp-Up students lagged behind their Ramp-Up Eligible counterparts. Ramp-Up students’ average scores increased by no more than one level in either grade during both years of implementation, thus Ramp-Up students’ reading achievement growth was not accelerated as expected. Recommendations for improving subsequent evaluations of America’s Choice were discussed in light of the inconsistent nature of the findings.

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    Approximately 85% of the respondents to the 2017  School Climate Survey perceive their schools as having a climate that is conducive to effective instruction and learning.




    More than 33,600 students, 9,000 parents, and 5,700 teachers participated in the 2017 School Climate Survey.