Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Student performance on high-stakes tests continues to be an important issue for school administrators. This quasi-experimental, quantitative study investigated the relationship between the amount of time 8th grade students spent in advanced placement English classes using an extended block schedule and their achievement on language arts sections of the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJASK) high-stakes tests. The study was based on Carroll's theory relating instructional time and student learning. The guiding research questions investigated if extended time blocks in advanced placement English would improve student achievement scores on the language arts sections of NJASK tests. The study compared NJASK mean scores between two groups of English middle school students. One group received 90 minutes of English instruction time using an extended block schedule and the other group remained in a traditional 45-minute English period. A nonequivalent, pretest--posttest design was used to investigate the research questions. NJASK scores were collected from a public middle school from 2007-2008 through 2009-2010. Frequency distributions, descriptive statistics and ANOVA tests were used to analyze the data. Results indicated that there was a statistically significant difference between the extended block and traditional groups' NJASK results from 7th to 8th grade. Further studies should explore the effects of extended blocks on high-stakes test achievement for 8th grade students in English classes that are not considered advanced placement levels. The findings of this study have positive social change implications on the way school administrators can use traditional or block schedule types to maximize student achievement on future high-stakes tests.