Longitudinal Examination of Texas Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Academies
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The research generated from this dissertation study focuses on the effectiveness of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) schools from different perspectives. The substantial amount of investment given to STEM schools required the investigation of the influence of STEM schools on students’ academic achievement. The research from the first study in this dissertation focuses on the effectiveness of Texas STEM schools (T-STEM academies) from a broader perspective by comparing T-STEM academies in different regions. The second study focuses on the influence of STEM practices on students’ academic achievement by comparing T-STEM academies to traditional high schools longitudinally. The third study focuses on the effectiveness of T-STEM charter schools in comparison to non-T-STEM charter schools. Lastly, the fourth study highlights the importance of the duration of implementation by focusing on the effect of STEM designation in middle school and the years of designation as a T-STEM academy. Results from the first study showed that T-STEM academies located in different regions did not differ in terms of students’ mathematics achievement longitudinally. Schools in regions were supported by Regional Education Service Centers (ESC) in terms of assistance on instruction. According to the findings of the first study, students’ mathematics achievement in T-STEM academies in different ESCs was not statistically significantly different. In the second study, students’ mathematics, reading, and science achievement did not differ longitudinally according to their schools: T-STEM or traditional high schools. However Asian, and at-risk students in T-STEM academies showed better mathematics and reading growth. Students’ mathematics and reading scores, who were in T-STEM charter schools and non-T-STEM charter schools, differed over time. Hispanic students in T-STEM charter schools showed higher positive growth over time than Hispanic students in non-T-STEM charter schools. Lastly, students who attended T-STEM academies in middle school had higher Algebra I and Algebra II scores in high school than their peers, who enrolled in T-STEM academies in ninth grade. In addition, if a T-STEM academy had a designation as an academy for at least four years, students in these academies had higher scores than their counterparts. Overall, results from this dissertation study showed that T-STEM academies partially fulfill their promise. Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students in T-STEM academies showed better growth than their counterparts. The major participants of T-STEM academies were Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students. The results from the four studies showed that instruction in T-STEM academies was beneficial to one group of minority (i.e., Hispanic) students as well as economically disadvantaged students. Moreover, this dissertation study highlights the importance of implementation in schools. Students who are taught using STEM practices in middle grades are highly likely to reach desired results. In addition, the duration of the designation as a STEM school plays an important role on students’ academic achievement.
Oner, Ayse Tugba (2015). Longitudinal Examination of Texas Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Academies. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from