Act Scores: Rural vs. Community

Topics: High school, Education in the United States, Statistics Pages: 5 (1629 words) Published: July 2, 2013
Group Project – Milestone V
Are ACT scores affected by whether or not a student lives in a rural or urban communities? And what major factors contribute to higher or lower ACT scores?

Prepared by Group One:
Albert, Krystle
Ellis, Kenton
Lara, Marina

BUS 515: Managerial Statistics
Dr. Gilchrist

April 20, 2012

Our project was developed on conducting research on urban and rural community school districts. We initially wanted to see if ACT scores were higher in urban communities compared to rural communities. We evaluated several variables that contribute to an individual’s test scores such as: student to teacher ratio, population size, free and reduced lunch enrollment and ethnicity. From this, we strategically chose our two school districts based on similar enrollment rates as well as evaluating the county population of each district so that we had one district represent an urban community and the other represent a rural community. For the urban community, we chose the Fort Lupton school district which is located in Weld County, District RE-8. For the rural community, we chose the Alamosa school district located in Alamosa County, RE-11J. The ACT is a standardized test for high school achievement and college admissions in the United States. The ACT has historically consisted of four tests: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science Reasoning. They also added an optional writing portion to the exam (ACT Overview). These portions of the test are individually scored on a scale of 1-36 and a composite overall score is provided which is the average of all four test scores. The ACT assessment is used to measure high school students’ general educational development and their capability to complete college-level work. It is used to see the student’s readiness for college. The main source of our data was collected from the Colorado Department of Education (CDE). The Colorado Department of Education provides leadership, resources, support, and accountability to the state’s 178 school districts, 1,780 schools, and over 130,000 educators to help them build capacity to meet the needs of the states’ over 840,000 public school students (About the Colorado Department of Education (CDE)). We also used School Review, which is an online resource through CDE that tracks all performance, human resource and student data. We also obtained direct information from both school districts in addition to our sources listed above. We were able to obtain the percentages of gifted/talented students as well as English Secondary Language (ESL) students from each district for the current 2011-2012 school year. We first started analyzing our data using simple descriptive statistics. We then separated each of our variables and placed them in tables to gain a better understanding of the data that was presented. By implementing the multivariate approach, we were able to better compare different variables to the ACT scores in each school district. Process

The effect of receiving an education in a rural community compared to receiving an education in an urban community was analyzed in this project. In addition to analyzing the communities, we analyzed which variable has the greatest effect on the ACT scores. Our hypothesis states that students living in urban communities will have higher ACT scores compared to students living in rural communities based on the fact that students in urban communities have more resources available to them. We also feel that student to teacher ratio would have the greatest effect on overall ACT scores. Our data was compiled from the CDE website, School Review, Census Bureau, and school administrators. We strategically chose our two school districts based on county population, with one school district in a rural area and one district in an urban area. We wanted to make sure that both school districts were comparable with enrollment sizes. We compiled all of our...
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