A Multilevel Study of the Impact of District-Level Characteristics on Texas Student Growth Trajectories on a High-Stakes Math Exam Academic Article uri icon


  • Mathematics is a core content area in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and is vital to student learning in the other STEM subjects. The purpose of this study was to investigate the math performance of fifth- and eighth-grade students in 1170 Texas school districts. We conducted growth hierarchical linear modeling in SAS 9.4 in order to explore the effects of time, district-level characteristics, and their interaction on student performance as measured by the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) math test across three performance levels (i.e., approaching, meeting, and mastering grade level) over three academic years: 20162019. The overall findings indicated that, over time, Texas school districts improved in the percentage of students who approached, met, and mastered grade-level performance on the STAAR math test. The results also indicated that five district-level variables consistently and significantly impacted Grade 5 and 8 students math achievement at three performance levels. Significant positive factors included the percentage of English learner students and principal years of experience; significant negative factors were the percentage of economically challenged students, student mobility rate, and teacher turnover rate.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Tang, S., Wang, Z., & Sutton-Jones, K. L.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Tang, Shifang||Wang, Zhuoying||Sutton-Jones, Kara L

publication date

  • January 2021