The effect of traditional and modified calendars on student academic achievement in two rural school systems

Geeta W McMillan, Tennessee State University


The present study explored the relationships between student achievement on different academic calendars in mathematics and reading. The purpose of the study was to analyze the effect of different academic school calendar configurations on achievement as measured by the Tennessee Comprehensive Examination over a three year period. The sample group was 162 students enrolled in two different school systems in Middle Tennessee that maintained two different academic calendars. One system was on a traditional nine month academic calendar, while the other was on a modified, year-round calendar. All schools involved in the study were classified as high poverty as well as rural and had small enrollments. Data from three school years were used: 2001–2002, 2002–2003, and 2003–2004. The variables examined were academic calendar configuration, status of qualification for the National School Lunch program, and the tenure status of the teachers. Six hypotheses were tested using independent sample t-tests. For each of the six hypotheses, there was not a significant correlation related to the gains of students. This lack of correlation existed with students regardless of the type of academic calendar, regardless of their socio-economic status or the category of teacher tenure. Upon further investigation of the three years of Terra Nova scores, it was found individual scores, rather than gain scores, indicated that student socio-economic status was a significant factor in the area of reading achievement. When the analysis of the three years focused on the independent standardizes scores versus the amount of gain or loss, significant differences are present between low socio-economic and non-low socio-economic groups. Significant differences of <.05 existed between the groups, which suggests that the entry level scores of low socio-economic students were lower and remained lower than their more affluent counter parts over the three year testing cycle.

Subject Area

Elementary education

Recommended Citation

Geeta W McMillan, "The effect of traditional and modified calendars on student academic achievement in two rural school systems" (2005). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3167780.