Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Catherine H. Glascock

Committee Members

James H. Lampley, Eric S. Glover, Cecil N. Blankenship


The purpose of this study was to determine whether a significant relationship exists between particular home, student, and school characteristics and ACT scores and the relationship these characteristics subsequently have with the TVAAS grades assigned to each high school's ACT scores. These home, student, and school variables were socioeconomic status, percentage of minority, graduation rate, per-pupil expenditure, Gateway English II scores, and Gateway Algebra I scores. By looking at these variables and the influence they hold on the education of students, I sought to ascertain the fairness that is present when schools and districts are given grades through the TVAAS assessment.

The population in this study was students in the Tennessee high schools that had given the Gateway English II test, Gateway Algebra I test, and had TVAAS ACT composite grades. I also examined the influence that variables such as socioeconomic status, percentage of minority students, graduation rate, and per-pupil expenditure have on achievement. Before doing the first phase of this project, I set about to see if assumptions of normality were met. I then analyzed data to establish that certain home, student, and school variables affect achievement. After doing that, I was able to show a strong relationship between these 6 home, student, and school variables and achievement.

After establishing predictor variables, I examined the predictor variables and their relationship with the TVAAS ACT composite scores of Above, No Detectable Difference, and Below. These designations from the Tennessee Department of Education are "grades" for the schools and districts. The analyses indicated that, indeed, some of these home, student, and school variables such as socioeconomic status and percentage of minority students still have a relationship with the grades, despite the claim that TVAAS measures teacher effectiveness almost exclusively.

This study concluded with recommendations that further modifications need to be done with the TVAAS grades on ACT composite scores. The conclusions in this dissertation merit consideration from Dr. William Sanders as well as the assessment division of the Tennessee Department of Education.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.