Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between regional accreditation status and selected achievement test scores in public elementary schools in Virginia. In this study the author translated the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' (SACS) goal of school improvement into a measurable indicator of goal achievement, achievement test scores.;The process of SACS elementary accreditation involves a considerable investment of school resources. The process has three distinctive features which should enable school improvement: (1) comprehensive assessment through self-evaluation, (2) goal direction by long- and short-range plans, and (3) collaboration or participation by the school and community.;Forty-six regionally accredited schools which gained their status is 1975, 1976, and 1977 and 265 non-regionally accredited elementary schools were identified for inclusion in the study. Virginia was selected as the site for this research because of the popularity of SACS accreditation and because of the availability of achievement test scores from the annual statewide testing program.;Data from 1977 which included a student ability score, achievement test scores, a measure of school SES, expenditure per pupil, and school size were analyzed using a cluster procedure designed to help classify schools with similar attributes. An option was employed which allowed the formation of 50 optimally homogeneous clusters of schools. Following cluster analysis, 22 clusters of schools were dropped from further analysis because they contained solely non-accredited schools, and 1 was dropped because it contained a single accredited school. Achievement test data from schools in the remaining 27 clusters were subjected to discriminant analysis.;It was hypothesized that 1978, 1979, and 1980 achievement test scores from accredited elementary schools would be significantly higher than 1978, 1979 and 1980 scores from non-accredited elementary schools.;In the first analysis, all achievement scores for all three years were utilized. The results showed that scores from accredited schools were consistently though not significantly higher than scores from non-accredited schools. Histograms depicted considerable overlap of groups. In the second analysis scores from each year were entered separately and the results were similar to the analysis for all years. Accredited school mean scores were consistently though not significantly higher than non-accredited school mean scores.



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