K20 Research Center,  University of Oklahoma

Great Expectations Study

Preliminary Results

The mission of Great Expectations is to motivate, inspire, and challenge individuals to achieve excellence in learning and living.  This model is guided by six basic principles: (1) high expectations for students and teachers to reach their potential; (2) teachers possessing an attitude and a responsibility requiring excellence in all their students; (3) a belief that all children can learn; (4) the building of self-esteem in students to help them believe they are capable of learning; (5) creating a climate of mutual respect which empowers students to take risks; (6) building teachers’ knowledge in learning theory and skill set in pedagogy.

The Board of Directors of Great Expectations (GE) is committed providing a high quality program that accomplishes the mission and adheres to the six principles of the program.  While they have a plethora of qualitative data that supports the success of the program, they believed it was necessary to have quantitative data to assist them in their ongoing evaluation and commitment to continual improvement of the program.  The program is currently being evaluated using a longitudinal quasi-experimental design.  A sample of 36 Great Expectation model elementary schools were matched with 556 Oklahoma non-Great Expectations elementary schools based on the following variables:  ethnicity, free and reduced lunch eligibility, school size, average number of days students absent, percent of parents attending conferences, percent of teachers with advanced degrees, percent passing third grade reading test, district population size, unemployment rate, average household income, teachers per administrator, percent of student’s in special education, instructional support budget, and district percent passing Algebra I.  Five years of pass rates on third grade reading and third grade math state exams were examined.   Data was collected two years prior to schools being named a Model School, the year of being designated a Model School and two years after being named a Model School.

While the final data analysis is being conducted, preliminary findings are listed below:

  • Descriptive Analysis
    • The descriptive analysis of the data reveal that GE Model Schools had a higher mean passing rate than non-GE schools in third grade reading.
    • The descriptive analysis of the data reveal that GE Model Schools had a higher mean passing rate than non-GE schools in math
    • The descriptive analysis of the data reveal that GE Model Schools maintain the higher mean pass rates in third grade math and reading despite higher student to teachers ratios, teacher to administrator ratios, and special education populations as well as lower rates of spending on instructional supports.

  • Longitudinal Analysis
    • From the longitudinal analysis the mean of GE Model Schools showed a positive growth trajectory from 2009 through 2013 in third grade reading scores.
    • From the longitudinal analysis the mean of GE Model Schools showed a positive growth trajectory from 2009 through 2013 in math scores.
    • The mean growth rate in the third year of Model GE school status doubled the rate of growth as compared to the first and second year of Model GE school status in third grade math.
    • During the 5 year period, 86% of the Model GE schools increased their reading scores.
  • Specific School Highlights
    • The lowest performing GE Model School in the first year of the five-year study increased their pass rate from 46% to a pass rate of 72% in third grade reading.
    • A GE Model School with a pass rate of 61% in the first year of the five-year study increased their pass rate to 98% in third grade math.