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dc.contributor.advisorDeLuca, Thomas A
dc.contributor.authorGaughan, Amy Elizabeth
dc.date.accessioned2021-07-25T22:14:03Z
dc.date.available2021-07-25T22:14:03Z
dc.date.issued2020-05-31
dc.date.submitted2020
dc.identifier.otherhttp://dissertations.umi.com/ku:17209
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1808/31837
dc.description.abstractThis study focused on the mathematics acceleration policies and practices of a large, suburban, public school district in the Midwest. There is a lack of research specifically related to the acceleration of elementary students, particularly subject-based (i.e., mathematics) acceleration. This represents a significant gap in the empirical literature and presents an opportunity for this study to contribute to what is known and understood about this important educational policy issue. The purpose of this study was to examine the policies which govern one district’s mathematics acceleration program and investigate the practices (including the selection of elementary students for mathematics acceleration) which support the sustained implementation of a mathematics acceleration program in this particular district in order to better understand a contemporary educational phenomenon (e.g., accelerating elementary students in mathematics). This particular district was purposefully selected as a unique and ideal location in which to study mathematics acceleration in an elementary context because of its formal, institutionalized system of mathematics acceleration for qualifying elementary and middle school students, with mathematics acceleration being operationally defined as subject-based acceleration whereby students who meet the eligibility criteria may be permitted to skip one or more grade-levels of mathematics curriculum and instruction. This was a case study and utilized qualitative methods. Data were collected from multiple sources, including; a) semi-structured interviews, b) documents, c) student enrollment and demographic information, and d) district enrollment and demographic information. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 participants, including current and former mathematics coordinators and current middle school counselors, purposely selected for their first-hand knowledge and experience with the district’s mathematics acceleration process. This study found that implementation gaps and problematic practices have persisted over time which have challenged the power of district mathematics coordinators to uphold or make changes to the district mathematics acceleration policy. There is evidence to suggest that mathematics acceleration in this district is a parent-driven process and that some students may be selected for mathematics acceleration on the basis of parent pressure rather than academic merit. The implementation of mathematics acceleration in this district is fundamentally different at the elementary and middle school level, which suggests that meeting the goals of acceleration may depend on the instruction in the classroom more than accelerated mathematics placement at the elementary level. There are statistically significant differences in the representation of gender and ethnicity among mathematics accelerated students compared to the overall student population, and these differences in both gender and ethnic representation were accurately identified and described by participants in this study. This study contributes to the overall understanding of mathematics acceleration, particularly of elementary students. This study concludes with recommendations for district leaders and policy makers who seek to establish effective educational policies which ensure equitable outcomes for all students regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, or socio-economic status. A limitation of this study is that it is focused on the mathematics acceleration policy and practices of one purposefully selected school district, and thus the findings are not generalizable. It would be difficult to replicate this study because the methods were designed to fit the specific context and unit of analysis of this study.
dc.format.extent174 pages
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Kansas
dc.rightsCopyright held by the author.
dc.subjectEducational leadership
dc.subjectEducation policy
dc.subjectMathematics education
dc.subjectability grouping
dc.subjecteducational leadership
dc.subjecteducational policy
dc.subjectelementary
dc.subjectequity
dc.subjectmathematics acceleration
dc.titleElementary Mathematics Acceleration: One District's Policies and Practices
dc.typeDissertation
dc.contributor.cmtememberPerbeck, Deborah D
dc.contributor.cmtememberSaatcioglu, Argun
dc.contributor.cmtememberEmerson, Dawn
dc.contributor.cmtememberRice, Suzanne
dc.thesis.degreeDisciplineEducational Leadership and Policy Studies
dc.thesis.degreeLevelEd.D.
dc.identifier.orcidhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-1370-749Xen_US
dc.rights.accessrightsopenAccess


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