Title

The Effect of Elementary Student Participation in the Rachel'S Challenge Program on Student Attendance and Academic Performance

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Department

Educational Administration

Date of Award

Summer 2013

Abstract

This quantitative, causal-comparative evaluation of Rachel's Challenge Elementary Program aimed to study the effect of this character education program on two cohorts of students from 12 elementary schools in one North Texas school district. In an effort to foster a climate of kindness and compassion where students, staff, parents, and stakeholders are treated as valued members of the school community, a school district implemented a character education program called Rachel's Challenge Elementary Program. This study examined the possible effects of implementing the Rachel's Challenge Elementary Program on student attendance and student academic achievement. The Rachel's Challenge Elementary Program is a K-5 program that consists of eight components: professional development for staff, a kick-off assembly for students, informational materials for parents and stakeholders, guidance lessons, school displays, a Kindness and Compassion Club, activities, and a year-end celebration. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of Rachel's Challenge Elementary Program on student attendance and academic achievement rates. The evaluation involved extracting and analyzing the attendance rates and the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) scores in reading and mathematics over 3 consecutive years for two cohorts of elementary students, beginning when the students were in the third grade. One cohort of students participated in the program and other did not participate in the program. The data from the two cohorts were compared and findings are reported. From the analysis of the data, the students who participated in the Rachel's Challenge Elementary Program did not have higher attendance rates compared to those who do not participate in the program. In terms of reading and mathematics for the current study, the students who participated in the Rachel's Challenge Elementary Program performed better and had higher results than did students who did not participate in Rachel's Challenge Elementary Program.

Advisor

Arthur Borgemenke

Subject Categories

Education | Educational Administration and Supervision

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