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Parent Involvement and Student Achievement
Subj:      Re: [Mpls] School funding & other issues
Date:     11/10/2001 5:34:16 PM Central Standard Time

In a message dated 11/10/2001 2:36:36 PM Central Standard Time, [Audrey Johnson] writes:

> Mr. Atherton is right, current research shows that student acheivement can
>  be accurrately measured as follows:  49% attributed to parent involvement,
>  about 42% teacher quality, and about 8% to class size.  A top priority of
>  the district is currently to provide staff development in a way that is
>  shown to raise teacher quality.

It is doubtful that any study would attribute as much as 49% of test score
variability to "parent involvement."  Academic achievement test scores are
the gold standard for measuring academic achievement.  If only 50% of test
score variability is related to what happens in school, it doesn't
necessarily follow that the rest is attributable to parent involvement.

I expect the type of study to which Audrey Johnson refers would attribute at
least 10 to 20% of test score variability to unknown or unmeasurable factors,
some to household income, some to mobility (changing schools), and so forth.  
There may be a fairly high correlation between test score variability and
parent involvement as it is measured by the Minneapolis Public Schools.  But
even a very strong statistical association between two factors does not
necessarily mean that one factor is the cause of the other.

I'm sure that I've seen or heard of studies that attribute about 8% of test
score variability to the difference between small (13 to 17) and regular
(about 25) class sizes.  And 42% would be in the ball park for studies of
teacher efficacy.  However, teacher efficacy is typically measured as years
of teaching experience, with adjustments for special training and
certifications, or step and lane classifications may be used.  If other
factors that effect the quality of teaching are taken into account, they
would be evaluated and reported out independently of teaching experience and

Doug Mann, King Field

Doug Mann for School Board
Minneapolis Issues Forum - A Civil City Civic Discussion - Mn E-Democracy
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