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A Block Scheduling Study

Block Scheduling: An Objective Look at Math Outcomes Based on New Research

The following is a condensed portion of a study done by Dr. Michael Wronkovich, a counselor at Coventry High School, Akron, Ohio; Dr. Caryl Hess, Associate Dean of Baldwin-Wallace College in the Division of Student Affairs and Dr. James Robinson, Associate Principal of Manchester High School in Akron, Ohio. I want to thank them for giving me permission to post this material on this page.

This study was accepted for publication in the NASSP Bulletin, a publication printed by the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

In short, this study looked at two suburban Ohio school districts, one which was blocked in a 4 X 4 schedule and another which used a traditional, year-long schedule. Student were given a prominent Ohio achievement test that has been used since 1978. Its ?validity and reliability has been verified over nineteen years....? Students also took the PSAT/NMSQT to aid as a co-variant in this study, as was student GPA. The student population and curriculum was also almost parallel in each group, even to the point that books and other materials remained constant during the three years that this study took place. The researchers also included questionnaires responses from teachers and students.

Again, in short, the findings of this study indicated that traditional scheduling for mathematics was an advantage to students on math test scores. The researchers made inferences based on this research that those students who are in a block schedule are at a disadvantage.

In their conclusion, the researchers state

?There have not been sufficient, controlled longitudinal studies to lead to enthusiastic support for block scheduling as of this date.....[we] feel that our first study revealed possible deficiencies that need to more fully explored.?

This study has valid conclusions as seen in the detailed account by the researchers. I urge you to get ahold of this study and give it to your local school official. This is too important research not to be shared with others on the effects of block scheduling.