Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


Educational Leadership and Policies

First Advisor

Zach Kelehear


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of ten years of traditional scheduling compared to ten years of the modified 4 X 4 block scheduling on the academic achievement of high school students. The study compared twenty-five years of data at one large suburban high school analyzing the graduation rate, SAT scores, BSAP/HSAP scores, the changing demographics, and the voices of the principals and veteran teachers.

The study used mixed methods. The quantitative data described, analyzed, and interpreted the graduation rate, SAT scores, BSAP/HSAP test scores, and the changing demographics from 1983 through 2008. The qualitative data offered a voice to the twenty-five years through interviews with two former principals and seven veteran teachers. The findings of the quantitative data showed that the term graduation rate cannot be assessed because of the term's flexibility. With the SAT scores, the standard deviation was necessary to show statistical significance and the information was not available for the early years. Yet the SAT mean scores of the math and verbal tests showed an increase of nineteen points in math on the modified 4 X 4 block schedule.

Using the two sample proportion z-test, the BSAP/HSAP scores in mathematics, reading, and writing were compared in five year increments between the two curricular structures. The passing rates showed statistical significance in mathematics and reading on the traditional schedule years.

When the demographics were analyzed for African-American students, white students, and students on a free and reduced lunch program for the same five years on both curricular structures, the results showed a statistical significance in higher mathematics scores in all groups on the traditional schedule years as compared to the modified 4 X 4 block schedule years. The estimated BSAP writing scores seemed identical for two groups but the students on the free and reduced lunch program had a lower passing rate on the block schedule.

The findings of the qualitative data revealed that the seven veteran teachers and one former principal consistently supported the traditional schedule.


© 2010, Martha Kathryn Williams Wright