Date of Award


Degree Name



Educational Leadership and Administration


Don P. Schulte


This study examined TAKS test scores of seniors that did not graduate with their cohort group due to failure of TAKS test. The data was for the 2007-2008, 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 school years and included students from ten traditional high schools. This researched focused on the relation between this senior cohort group and student and campus factors. The student characteristics included gender, ethnicity, at-risk status and students identified as economically disadvantaged and Limited English Proficient. The school characteristics included campus size, longevity of campus principal, teachers' classroom years of experience, and state and federal accountability factors. Through an observational and non-experimental quantitative process, numerical and categorical data was subjected to statistical analyses to determine whether there were relationships of statistical significance among variables. The findings of this study revealed that the higher numbers of lower SES, LEP, female, at-risk and minority students comprised the cohort of individuals that did not graduate due to failure on the TAKS when compared to the district and state averages. The performance of these students on TAKS tests was consistent with statewide trends in terms of rates of failing by content with the math TAKS test having the most students fail, followed by the science test, English Language Arts test and social studies test, respectively. However, this study showed that the students in this cohort failed all of these assessments at significantly higher rates when compared to total district and statewide averages. Consistent with research regarding socioeconomic status, the findings of this study revealed that the SES variable is a dominant factor affecting students' performance on high school exit exams. Gender gaps were evident in terms of TAKS test performance, particularly in social studies. Even though the significance was greater than .05, there were gaps evident in math and science. The results of this study lend support to the other research findings that LEP students are at a distinct disadvantage as this student factor showed statistical significance with regard to the reading test. This study also found that minority students, in this case, Hispanics, fail the exit exams in greater proportion than White students. However, this finding also showed the resilient effort on the part of some students as the study found that Hispanic students achieved success on many levels, despite obstacles. With regard to campus characteristics, the findings of this study revealed that a statistical significance existed as a function of campus size and teachers' classroom years of experience. Years of teaching experience did make a positive difference in terms of the reading and social studies student test performance. This study found that with regard to campus size, the student cohort in larger campuses outperformed the smaller campuses. This finding may be attributed to the fact that the larger high schools in this district are located in comparatively more affluent regions of the district. No statistical significance was found in relation to campus principal longevity and state and federal accountability variables.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

225 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

Patricia Silva