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  • Thumbnail for Studying the Effects of Social Context and Demographics on Behavior and Performance in a Colorado Springs Charter Middle School
    Studying the Effects of Social Context and Demographics on Behavior and Performance in a Colorado Springs Charter Middle School by Savold, Jordan Hartigan

    Over the past several decades, research has reported strong relationships between social context, demographics and children’s consequential school behavior and performance outcomes. This study explores these relationships within the context of a local charter school in Colorado Springs, serving a population of primarily low-income and minority students. It is hoped that increasing the knowledge behind the specific influences of poor behavior and academic performance can provide an opportunity for the school to find to constructively and most effectively combat these forces. I collected data from School Insight on 457 middle school students for the 2014-2015 first semester, allowing various demographic, social, economic, behavioral and performance measures to be analyzed. Results showed that forces external to the school environment are at play in influencing behavior and performance in school. Most strikingly, results of a multivariate analysis displayed disparities in the representation of racial minorities in the honors college. Thus, the results of this study confirm that external forces influence school behavior and performance, while also drawing attention to another potential matter requiring attention within the school.

  • Thumbnail for Learning to Live
  • Thumbnail for Determinants of a school’s dropout rate in Wisconsin public high schools
    Determinants of a school’s dropout rate in Wisconsin public high schools by DeMay, David

    This paper looks into the determinants of a high school’s dropout rate using panel data from 687 public high schools in Wisconsin. Using an OLS model this paper finds a few variables at the 5% significance level to have an effect on a high school’s dropout rate. A school’s funding, the racial breakdown of the student body, the education level of the local area, the unemployment rate of the local area, and the school’s student to staff ratio were all found to be significant determinants of a high school’s dropout rate. An effective initiative in bringing U.S. high school dropout rates down to those of other developed countries has the potential to save the U.S. trillions of dollars. Analyses similar to this one are the first step in achieving that goal.

  • Thumbnail for Does principal pay matter? an analysis of principal compensation and school performance in Colorado K-12 public schools
    Does principal pay matter? an analysis of principal compensation and school performance in Colorado K-12 public schools by Johnson, Daniel K. N. , Carlson, David K.

    Compensation of K-12 school principals, and the effect that it has on the performance of the schools they lead, has become a relevant policy debate in recent years. This study examines the relationship between principal salaries and student performance on Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) tests by using multivariate quintile regressions on data from the 2002-2005 school years. Controlling for differences in cost of living across districts, a positive correlation between principal salaries and student CSAP scores was found, particularly in the mathematics section of the test. However, the percentage of a school’s students on free and reduced lunch and teacher salaries were found to have a larger impact on student performance.

  • Thumbnail for Semester, trimester or block plan? Retention of economics principles by undergraduates on alternative curricular structures
    Semester, trimester or block plan? Retention of economics principles by undergraduates on alternative curricular structures by Lybecker, Kristina M. , Taylor, Corrine H. , Johnson, Daniel K. N.

    This paper investigates whether the curricular structure of an Economics course (semester, trimester, or compressed block schedule) has an effect on an undergraduate's subsequent retention of course material. We test separately for theoretical/process comprehension and for graphical construction/interpretation, while separating micro from macro content as well. We use an instrument to address the no stakes testing problem, and our Heckman two-stage estimations present some interesting results for educators and institutional policymakers alike.