School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Scott Watson


Standardized Testing, Magnet, STEM, Traditional, Middle School, Comparison


Curriculum and Instruction | Education


This quantitative study emphasizes the effectiveness of a middle school learning environment on the Georgia Standardized Assessment (Georgia Milestone Assessment System - GMAS) in the subject of Math. The purpose of this quantitative study is to determine whether there is a difference in the 8th grade Math Georgia Milestone standardized testing scores (adjusted by the covariate) within the three types of middle schools: STEM, magnet and traditional middle schools. This quantitative research study compares the student achievement data of a large urban school system’s STEM school to those of a traditional middle school and magnet middle school in the subject of math in the progression from 7th to 8th grades. Approximately 200+ students’ scores from each school will be compared using an ANCOVA to determine the gains in Math. The results of the study showed that there was a significant difference in Math GMAS scores between traditional and STEM middle schools. There were no significant differences in Math GMAS scores between traditional and magnet middle schools or STEM and magnet middle schools. The STEM middle school was shown to have a higher increase in the GMAS Math standardized test scores over the two-year period than the other two types of schools. The results encourage the idea that STEM schools are more effective in teaching in the area of Math when compared to the other local middle schools. By utilizing similar teaching techniques, every student in every middle school can have the same learning experience.