The Impact of Quality Core Curriculum and Georgia Performance Standards on Student Achievement
Type of DegreeDissertation
Curriculum and Teaching
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The state of Georgia is dedicated to leading the nation in improving student achievement (Cox, 2006). The key to making this vision a reality lies in providing a curriculum that will enhance the quality of education. According to Monson and Monson(1997), the curriculum is crucial for improving student learning because it defines what students are to learn, know, and understand in all content areas and at each grade level. As required by the Quality Basic Education (QBE) Act of 1985, Georgia established a Quality Core Curriculum (QCC) that specifies what students are expected to know in each subject and grade (Mitzell, 1999). However, a Phi Delta Kappa audit of the state’s curriculum concluded that the QCC did not meet national standards according to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act which was signed on January 8, 2002 by President George Bush. Georgia replaced the QCC with performance standards (DuFour, 2004). The new Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) replaced the QCC as the state’s curriculum guidelines. The standards provided clear expectations for instruction and defined the level of student work that demonstrates achievement of the standards (Medrano, 2003). The standards also guided the teacher on how to assess the extent to which the student knows the material and can apply this information (Ravitch, 1996). The purpose of this project was to examine the impact of the QCC and GPS on student achievement. A correlational research study was conducted to compare the relationship between final grades and Criterion-Referenced Competency Test (CRCT)and Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) scores of students who attended Blanchard Elementary School, in Columbus, Georgia, after they received instruction guided by the QCC during the 2004-2005 school term and GPS during the 2005-2006 school term. Pearson r correlation coefficients between grades and test scores were used to determine the degree of their relationships. Fisher 's z-tests were also used to compute the statistical significance of the difference between the correlation coefficients. Significant differences were found between the grades and CRCT scores in reading, language arts, and math for the QCC and GPS. These findings indicated that the correlation for grades and CRCT scores were higher with the new curricula. In contrast, no significant differences were found between grades and ITBS scores in reading, language arts, and math for both curricula. There were relationships between the grades and ITBS scores.