High School Size and Differences in the Academic Achievement of English Language Learners: A Texas Statewide, Multiyear Investigation
Rodriguez, Joseph L.
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Purpose The purpose of this journal-ready dissertation was to determine the relationship of high school size with the academic achievement (i.e., reading and mathematics) of English Language Learners enrolled in Texas high schools. In the first journal article, the relationship of high school size and student achievement as function of poverty for English Language Learners was determined. In the second study, the extent to which high school size was related to the academic achievement of English Language Learners by their ethnicity/race was ascertained. Finally, in the third empirical investigation, the relationship between high school size and the academic achievement of English Language Learner boys and girls was examined. Each of these empirical investigations had two years of statewide public school data analyzed. This 2-year analysis of data permitted a determination of the degree to which trends were present in the relationship of high school size with the academic achievement of English Language Learners as a function of their economic status, ethnicity/race, and gender. Method A causal-comparative research design (Johnson & Christensen, 2014) was used for this quantitative study. Previously obtained archival data from the Texas Education Agency Public Education Information Management System for the 2008-2009 and the 2009-2010 school years were utilized. The independent variable in this research study was student enrollment at the high school level in which the University Interscholastic League (2013) conference cutoff numbers for the State of Texas were used to determine school sizes. Findings Statistically significant results were present for a majority of the analyses, with English Language Learners who were enrolled in Large-size high schools having statistically significant better results than English Language Learners who were enrolled in Small-size high schools. The lowest performance in reading and mathematics was present for English Language Learners who were enrolled in Small-size schools. Effect sizes ranged from small to large. Results from this study were congruent with much of the empirical literature. Academic achievement was better for English Language Learners enrolled in Large-size high schools than for English Language Learners in Small-size high schools Implications for policy and recommendations for research were provided.