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A Study of Relationships among Academic Pathways, Selected Variables, and ACT Scores
AuthorFarnworth, Cody J.
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The study examined the relationships among ACT subject scale scores and selected independent variables, specifically, course pathways. Carson High School (CHS) has attempted to provide a guaranteed and viable curriculum aligned with the approaches described by Marzano (2003). The study attempted to establish the extent to which significant relationships existed among college and career readiness as measured by ACT results and selected independent variables. The study focused on two cohorts of students in their junior year at Carson High School who first attempted to take the ACT for the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years. Pearson’s correlations were utilized to compute and investigate the linear relationships between variables to determine a positive or negative relationship. Multiple regression analyses were executed to develop models for prediction of ACT results. Analysis of the core subject correlation matrices and forward selection regression models determined combinations that best model achievement for the ACT subject scale scores and ACT composite scores.Course enrollments were designated as off track, on track and above track for this study. The data indicated that students enrolled in courses considered on track had a low frequency of meeting ACT benchmark scores. The data indicated that significant relationships existed among ACT subject scale scores and selected independent variables including the enrollment of various core academic pathways; enrollments in advanced academic pathways were important factors in regard to success on the ACT. Most students with an IEP and students characterized as Limited English Proficient (LEP) were enrolled in courses considered below track or on track and these students did not meet the minimum benchmark scores on the ACT. A change in both practices and policy within the state, district, and school may be needed to help all students graduate from high school prepared for either college and/or careers. Building upon the goal of establishing appropriate graduation rates, an emphasis on course pathways in math, English and science courses should be implemented to help all students attain the necessary skills and strategies to succeed.