The Impact of a Project-Based Learning Comprehensive School Reform on Student Achievement in a Group of High-Population Bilingual Urban Campuses
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A study was conducted utilizing a mixed ANOVA design for descriptive and comparative analysis to investigate a project-based learning intervention in five bilingual campuses. Prior to this intervention, there was no implementation of school reform that was specifically designed for English language learners (ELLs). This intervention was conducted for 4 years during a Title VII comprehensive school reform grant to determine any relationship between the intervention and student achievement in reading, math, and language in both English and Spanish. There were five campuses in the treatment group and four campuses in the district comparison group. The treatment group received instruction in project-based learning in English and Spanish, and both groups followed the district curriculum guidelines as to the Spanish/English allotment. There was a cohort of 225 students in Grades 1, 2, and 3 in Spanish reading instruction and a cohort of 23 students in Grades 4 and 5 in English reading instruction. Both cohorts were tested in the language of instruction on a yearly basis. Spanish academic performance was measured with the Aprenda, while English academic performance was measured with the Stanford 9 and 10. Normal Curve Equivalency scores (NCEs) were collected to determine the effect of treatment and time. English language proficiency was measured with the Reading Proficiency Test in English (RPTE) using whole-school growth with treatment, district comparison, and state comparison percentages of growth. The treatment group had higher mean scores than the comparison schools at the beginning of the intervention, but both groups declined in performance. There was a strong indicator that the treatment campuses experienced an “implementation dip” as a result of this curricular innovation. Changes in administration affected both groups. Variables such as mobility rate, student-to-teacher ratio, and district/state level changes were also discussed. There was no statistically significant impact of treatment on Hispanic ELL students as a result of the 4-year Techno-learning project.
Freer-Alvarez, Trudy Ann (2016). The Impact of a Project-Based Learning Comprehensive School Reform on Student Achievement in a Group of High-Population Bilingual Urban Campuses. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from