M.S.Ed. in Educational Leadership – Research Projects 2012

Title: Literacy trends of boys with low socioeconomic status
Author: Tara Pelletier & Jennah Iggulden
Affiliation: Oxford Hills Middle School & Comprehensive High School

Abstract: Boys with low SES in the Oxford Hills school district consistently perform below standard in reading. The purpose of our study is to determine when our current twelfth grade boys with low SES became reading deficient. District data were gathered spanning fourth grade through eleventh grade. Correlations were found between fourth grade and eighth grade and eighth grade to all other higher-grade levels reported. There was not enough correlation to determine a relationship between fourth grade and eleventh grade test results. More research should be explored surrounding a larger span of sub groups, (i.e. gender and SES).


Title: Integrating Technology to Increase Student Engagement in the Classroom
Author:  Lindsay Williams

Affiliation: Buckfield Jr. Senior High School, RSU 10

Abstract: A Concerns Based Adoption Model (CBAM) Questionnaire was used to assess teacher attitudes both before and after professional development was provided for all teachers. It was discovered that after eight weeks of professional development, teachers are still in the early stages of implementation of effective integration of technology, although many more are interested in refining laptop integration to improve student learning results.


Title: Creating Core Values Statements Through Stakeholder Involvement and Input
Author:Zachary Longyear

Affiliation: Lisbon High School

Abstract: Lisbon High School next New England Association of Schools and Colleges is visiting in the fall of 2015. A Core Values Statement must be created following the NEASC directive that is representative of stakeholder groups believed in at all level of the organization. The LHS faculty, support staff, and community members were surveyed as data for this research project. The three trends garnered from the data are representative of the stakeholder groups’ values. The data, instrumentation, and process create the transition between directive to shape organizational direction and direction shaped through stakeholder investment.


Title: Early Math Matters: Comparison of Kindergarten Screening Performance to Math Achievement Through Fourth Grade
Author: Peggy Beach & Myrna Robinson
Affiliation: Mt Blue RSD

Abstract: The connection between early measures of mathematical knowledge and later achievement in elementary school was investigated. Results suggested that some measures of math competency are captured in early assessment but not thoroughly enough to predict later proficiency with any degree of certainty. The results suggest that students’ ability to count has limited predictability. More comprehensive methods of assessing kindergarten students are recommended.


Title: A Comparison of Physical Dissection to Online Dissection: Do they promote scientific practices equally?
Author: Linnea K. Mathews

Affiliation: Mt. Blue RSD

Abstract: Physical and digital dissection of frogs were investigated for parity in learning opportunities of content and scientific practice in a middle school science class. Student outcomes on conventional and novel assessments were compared. The results suggest that physical dissection provides the opportunity to learn scientific practice, but digital dissection does not. The results further suggest that Surgical Notes, an assessment developed by the investigator, can be used to provide students the opportunity to learn scientific practice.


Title: Content Validity and Standardization of The Maine Certified Early Childhood Teacher Assistant Certification Portfolio Assessment Tool
Author: Jenny France

Affiliation: Somerset Career and Technical Center

Abstract: Maine early childhood CTE instructors have worked with the Department of Education and the Maine Roads to Quality organization to develop a certification process that aligns with these standards. The required certification portfolio assignments are currently evaluated by individual instructors who use grading systems which they have created and differ from classroom to classroom. I asked early childhood instructors and professionals to evaluate portfolio assignments using three rubrics. Results indicate there is little to no discrepancy between scores. Results suggest a universal rubric could be used to fairly assess student work.


Title: Integrating Web 2 tools into the classroom—A teacher based curriculum
Author:  Abigail Wood

Affiliation: RSU 10

Abstract: A receptive environment was created to deliver a research supported curriculum to teachers over a five month period in order to determine if 23 middle school teachers in western Maine would become more comfortable with the technology of using Web 2.0 tools in their classrooms. While the curriculum and environment achieved the objectives, there are suggestions for future improvement.


Title: Punishing Poverty: An Investigation into the Relationship Between Socioeconomic Status and Academic Achievement in Western Maine High Schools
Author: Jennifer Baker, Megan Packard, & Heather Ross
Affiliation: SAD 58, RSU 36, SAD 54

Abstract:The purpose of this research was to determine whether there is a positive correlation between a student’s socioeconomic status and their academic achievement as determined by their SAT scores. This study was completed in three school districts in Maine, where NCLB requires that all third-year high school students take the SAT. The Chi-square analysis revealed that in the largest of the three districts, the two variables were indeed related. However, using a less restricted range for socioeconomic determinations and a larger population sample might increase reliability and uncover a stronger relationship overall.