Jill Ashbaugh

Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 2009


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Instructional Leadership Excellence (ILEAD)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Misook Heo

Committee Member

Carol Parke

Committee Member

James Antis


No Child Left Behind, parent involvement, program evaluation, PSSA, remediation, test preparation


The United States federal government, through the No Child Left Behind Act, is holding schools accountable for students' proficiency on academic standards. However, standards-based curriculum and instruction, along with school-based support and remediation programs, are not enough to help 100 percent of students to reach proficiency. It is imperative that schools work with parents and communities to maximize each child's potential. Children of involved parents tend to exhibit higher educational goals and perform at academically higher rates than those of parents who do not get involved in their education.

The PSSA Parent Partnership is a program that involves parents, teachers, and students working together in preparation for the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment in reading and mathematics. A total of eighteen weekly assignments comprise the program, with six packets for reading and twelve packets for mathematics. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of the PSSA Parent Partnership in terms of its goals to increase student proficiency on the PSSA and to increase communication between teachers and parents. All of the null hypotheses in this study were rejected, due to the evidence that was found indicating that the PSSA Parent Partnership had a significant impact on student scores and proficiency levels, as well as on teacher-parent-student communication and perceptions. The analyses of the data give a clear indication that the PSSA Parent Partnership was successful in meeting its goals of helping to increase proficiency on the PSSA and facilitate communication between the school and home.

The findings of this study provide relevant information to educators who are considering using test preparation programs with their students. The author supports the best practices of using a standards-based curriculum and formative assessment as the foundation for an educational program, but has shown that there is evidence to support the use of test preparation programs as well. The results support earlier research related to test preparation programs, parent involvement models and the benefits of parent involvement. This study extended the body of research to include the effects of parent involvement in preparing students for success on high-stakes examinations.