Type of Culminating Activity
Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
Curriculum, Instruction, and Foundational Studies
The Idaho Statewide System of Support (SSOS) assists schools in meeting state standards for all students. In 2009, it created and implemented a revised theory of action which emphasized improvement planning and capacity-building support programs. This study examined the impact of the SSOS in general and its Idaho Building Capacity (IBC) Project in particular on Reading and Mathematics outcomes for students who are economically disadvantaged in Title I funded schools. A Pooled Interrupted Times Series design was employed to examine possible changes in the level of achievement or rate of improvement in schools. Within-subjects comparisons of trends before the intervention (2006-2007 through 2008-2009) were made to trends during the intervention (2009-2010 through 2011-2012). The study selected schools using a purposeful, stratified sample and added a comparison group time series to strengthen the design.
There were no significant differences found between SSOS and IBC treatment groups and their respective comparison groups. However, differences were found in within-subjects performance. Before the intervention, all schools consistently improved at a faster rate than during the intervention. In every case, SSOS and IBC treatment and comparison groups demonstrated unexpected negative changes from their projected slopes, and their rates of improvement slowed from 2009-2010 through 2011-2012.
The implications of this unexpected pattern in the data led to additional exploration of state data which examined the achievement outcomes of all Idaho Title I schools to determine if the negative changes in slope were an artifact of a systemic change in the larger population. The study found that the population of Idaho Title I schools did in fact demonstrate a significant negative change in slope in both Reading and Mathematics, which co-occurred with the interventions of this study and provides evidence that an unknown systemic change may have suppressed school improvement trajectories. As a result, the outcomes of the original research questions may not be conclusive since the degree to which the systemic change impacted treatment schools could not be discerned.
Considering this additional finding, SSOS and IBC treatment groups demonstrated promising trends. SSOS and IBC treatment groups had rates of improvement that were consistently greater than comparison schools during the intervention period. This marked a reversal from previous performance since comparison schools had improved faster than treatment schools during the pre-intervention period in three of four instances. Also, the differences between the rates of improvement grew to be consistently larger during the intervention period, consistently favoring the SSOS and IBC treatment groups, than during the pre-intervention period. This possibly meant that SSOS and IBC treatment groups were closing the achievement gap more quickly than before in relation to comparison schools. However, all schools had slower overall rates of improvement during the intervention period and in some cases exhibited declining achievement. Therefore, since trend data indicate that all Idaho Title I schools apparently experienced an unknown systemic change which negatively impacted their ability to maintain projected rates of improvement, these patterns in the data may indicate that the SSOS and IBC interventions helped to minimize the negative impact of the larger statewide influences.
Underwood, Steven M., "The Idaho Statewide System of Support: Scaling Up Whole-system Reform in a Rural Western State" (2013). Boise State University Theses and Dissertations. 351.