Lee, Valerie E., & Smith, Julia
Effects of School Restructuring on the Achievement and Engagement of Middle-Grade Students
University of Michigan, University of Rochester
How differences in the organization of schools influence the learning and behavior of students who attend the schools?
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Sociology of Education
Vol. 66, No. 3, pp. 164-187
- Schools with smaller eighth grades were more restructured.
- Heterogeneous grouping is more common in more homogeneous schools
- Schools with less rigid departmental structures evidence both higher achievement and less social-class differentiation.
- In schools that practice heterogeneous grouping, achievement is distributed more equitably across students from different social backgrounds.
- Team teaching is unrelated to the equitable distribution of achieving within schools.
- Students were more engaged with academic work in more restructured schools.
- Schools with larger eight grades have less engaged students and achievement is more differentiated by social class than is the case in schools with fewer students in the eight grade.
- Academic diversity reflects a disequalizing distribution of achievement by SES, which seems logical, if unfortunate.
- Modest but consistently positive effects of restructuring were found on both achievement and engagement, as well as with a more equitable social distribution of these outcomes.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Academic Achievement, Instruction, Middle School, SES
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- Subsample of NELS of 1988 of 84 Catholic and 60 independent schools and a random subsample of 233 out of 761 public schools.
- Resulting subsample of 8845 students in 377 schools.
- Measure of school restructuring: 1) a reduced departmental structure; 2) heterogeneously grouped instruction; 3) team teaching; and 4) a general index of restructuring
- Demographic characteristics, structural characteristics of schools
- DV: Student outcomes: academic achievement (combining reading and math scores), engagement
- IV: Demographic characteristics of students, demographic and structural characteristics of schools (average SES, minority concentration, etc). School restructuring