A comparison of achievement and attendance of fifth grade African American male and female students attending same-gender classes and coeducational classes in two inner city schools

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Virginia Tech


This quantitative study compared achievement and attendance of fifth grade African American males and females attending same- gender classes and coeducational classes in two inner-city schools in Virginia. The population of the study was ninety African American students. Fifty-two students were in same-gender classes and thirty-eight students were in coeducational classes. The students were from very similar socio-economic neighborhoods. The lowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) and the students’ final grades in grades four and five were used to obtain quantitative data. Achievement and attendance information was reported in mean scores and percentages. Charts and tables were used where appropriate for purposes of comparison and clarification. Descriptive statistics were used for means, standard deviations, and percentages. A separate analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) test was performed for achievement grades in math, science, reading, and social studies and standardized test scores. An ANCOVA also was done on attendance. The fourth grade ITBS’s test scores in reading, math, science, and social studies served as covariates. A separate analysis of variance (ANOVA) test was run on each ANCOVA for the purpose of comparison. Significant main effects and interactions were analyzed. Number Cruncher Statistical System software was used for all computations. A probability level of .05 was selected as the level of significance.

The analysis of the data for both groups revealed that students in the same-gender group showed higher achievement and improved attendance than the coeducational group. Grades for males and females were better in all subjects in same-gender classes. However, improved standardized test score results were divided.

The results of this study can provide data to school districts interested in comparing same-gender schooling and coeducational schooling. It contributes to the growing body of research in same-gender schooling as an educational alternative.