Date of Award

Summer 1993

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Robert B. Ribble

Second Advisor

Patricia E. Baker

Third Advisor

Patricia E. Baker

Abstract

Every student in New York State public schools is required to study a foreign language. After two units of study, the New York State Board of Regents tests their competence in the areas of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, via the New York State Proficiency Examination in Modern Languages. The purpose of this study is to examine if the proficiency exam scores obtained at the end of the eighth grade have a sufficiently strong predictive accuracy to allow their use for determining which students would be strongly advised against taking the subsequent advanced regents Spanish. If this predictive relationship is predictively strong, school districts may use these findings to support a policy decision barring poorly-performing students from continuing on to advanced Spanish courses in the eleventh and twelfth grade. The author examined the eighth-grade proficiency exams and tenth grade regents exams of all middle schools students in Holley Central School enrolled in Spanish classes. Statistical analysis shows that there is a fairly strong positive relationship between the scores of the two exams. This relationship is not strong enough to warrant using the proficiency test scores to exclude a person from continuing in the regents program.

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