A Study of the Relationship Between Building Conditions, Selected Teacher Qualifications, and Student Attendance in High and Low Performing Elementary Schools

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Virginia Tech


The No Child Left Behind legislation has served to make educators throughout the country more aware of the need to increase student academic performance on an annual basis. As part of the effort to report on satisfactory performance, the Virginia Department of Education evaluates school organizations based upon the annual student percent pass rate on the Standards of Learning assessment. This evaluation may result in schools being categorized as either low or high performing. The major difference between the two categories is obviously student academic performance, but there may be other differences in the school organizations that would also account for the categorization of schools. This leads to the possibility of other variables that may play a part in the difference between low and high performing schools. Five possible variables that may have such an influence would be the condition of the school building, teacher quality, school enrollment, student attendance and participation in the free and reduced-priced lunch program. These were the five variables that were investigated in this study which sought to ascertain if there is a difference in the teacher quality measure when the school is rated as either high or low performing. If a difference exists, the data may indicate that the quality of the teacher influences the rating of the school. Likewise, data regarding the condition of the building, school enrollment and student attendance rates and participation in the free and reduced-price lunch program may indicate an influence that these variables may have upon the rating of the school performance. All of this could be of importance to local school authorities in making decisions relative to improving student learning.

This study found there to be no significant difference between the building conditions, teacher quality, and school enrollment in the high and low performing schools; however, a significant difference did exist between the student attendance rates and in the population of students participating in the free and reduced-price lunch program in the high and low performing schools.



Academic achievement, building conditions, teacher quality