Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

Degree Name



Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Ganga Persaud


It was proposed that students’ scores on the Georgia Criterion Referenced Competency Test (GCRCT) in science in the middle grades might be explained by such variables as science teachers’ perceptions about: students’ performances in math, reading and science; students’ aptitude, early science socialization, responsiveness to innovative and differentiated instruction, as well as the curriculum relevance to the state’s standards. Teacher expectation, parental involvement, administrative support, faculty development and selected demographic variables were also considered as explanatory variables.

A questionnaire was administered to 62 teachers in 19 Atlanta Metropolitan Middle Schools. Students’ performance on the GCRCT was attached to teachers’ files in the respective schools. The results of the Pearson correlation analyses showed a significant relationship between students’ GCRCT science scores (meet and exceed performance) and each of the following variables: students’ GCRCT scores in math (r = .901) and reading (r = .871), students’ performances on class assignments in math (r = .268), reading (.522) and science (.424), teacher perceptions about students’ science aptitude (.417), early socialization (r= .308), and responsiveness to innovative teaching(.267). The results of factor analysis indicated that student performances on class assignments in reading, math and science were loaded with student science aptitude and parental education in Factor 1. Student performances on the GCRCT in science, math and reading were loaded inversely with class size in Factor 2. Parental involvement, teacher experience, student science aspiration and specialist science teachers were loaded in Factor 3. Teacher grade level, teacher qualifications, and student responsiveness to teaching was loaded inversely with class free lunch in Factor 4. Staff development, administrators’ science supervision and curriculum alignment were loaded in Factor 5. Teacher gender and teacher expectation were loaded in Factor 6. The results of regression analyses indicated that: when student science scores on the GCRCT was the dependent variable, student math performance on the GCRCT was the only significant predictor, when student math score on the GCRCT was the dependent variable, the predictors were: student science scores on the GCRCT, students responsiveness to innovative teaching and class size in that order.

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