An Evaluation of a Middle School's English Language Arts Pre-AP Program
Cook, Connor Anderson
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The National Center for Educational Achievement (ACT, 2010) states that school systems that excel at preparing students for college and career readiness produce students who take and pass AP courses and exams. Rooted in Fitzpatrick’s (2011) research on program evaluation practices, this program evaluation sought to analyze the effectiveness with which John Smith Middle School’s Pre-AP English Language Arts program operates. The purpose of this program evaluation was to determine and analyze how effectively the middle school’s Pre-AP ELA program produces excellent student and teacher performance outcomes. The evaluation employed student/parent/alumni surveys, descriptive statistics of standardized testing score reports, and confidential cognitive interviews with Pre-AP ELA faculty and school administrative staff in order to determine perceptions and beliefs about the efficacy of the overall history, evolution, and current practices of the program. In this program evaluation, specific topics regarding program admission, student placement, instructional methods, formative and summative assessment, standardized testing, professional development, teacher and student performance data, curriculum alignment, and 21st Century skills surfaced during data collection. This evaluation aimed to determine efficacy as well as to identify the gaps in knowledge associated with this program’s history since 2001 and to suggest specific ways to improve such programs to ensure optimum student, teacher, and staff performance for the school’s overall benefit.