Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education and International Services


Curriculum and Instruction PhD

First Advisor

Anneris Coria-Navia

Second Advisor

Jerome Thayer

Third Advisor

Larry Burton



The purpose of this quantitative, correlational study was to better understand the relationship between the 2016 Grade 10 ISTEP+ English passing rate and 2018 graduation rate amongst 290 Indiana high schools and the following variables: school size, average SAT reading score, percentage of students passing advanced placement (AP) exams, percentage of special education students, percentage of free or reduced lunch students, percentage of English Language Learner students, and percentage of minority ethnic group students.. The results of the research may further evaluate how 2016 school characteristics are related to the Grade 10, 2016 ISTEP+ English which may suggest future revision of the ISTEP+ English to remove bias or how the test is used.


This study used both regression and correlation to analyze school data. Regression provided an opportunity to predict and explain the relationship amongst multiple variables (Creswell, 2013, p. 358). In this study, a regression analysis was used to identify which 2016 school characteristic variables have the most impact on the 2016 ISTEP+ English passing rate and 2018 graduation rate.


This study examined the explanatory value of the 2016 ISTEP+ English passing rate in predicting the 2018 graduation rate as it is related to the 2016 school characteristics. The seven school characteristics predicted 57% of the variance in the 2016 ISTEP+ and 40% of the variance in graduation rate. When controlled for the seven school characteristics, the 2016 ISTEP+ English passing rate only accounted for 2.5% of the variance found in the 2018 graduation rate. In all, four of the seven school characteristics were especially strong predictors of ISTEP+ English passing rate and graduation rate: average SAT reading score, percent of free or reduced lunch students, percent of English Language Learner students, and percent of special education students.


This concludes that the 2016 Grade 10 ISTEP+ English passing rate may not be an appropriate predictor of the 2018 graduation rate because it may be influenced by the 2016 school characteristics and therefore, possibly contaminated by outside variables. suggesting that the ISTEP+ English should be reconsidered as a graduation requirement. This study provided data on the association between the ISTEP+ English and school characteristics. Although this data provided some answers regarding the ISTEP+ iv English and graduation rates, it raised some other questions to further research in this area. Additionally, research on variables which occur inside of the home such has poverty, trauma, abuse and so forth would be interesting to consider alongside their relationship to high stakes testing. The findings particular to this study suggest that more research should be performed on other school characteristics. Additionally, stakeholders should be aware of the characteristics that can increase or can decrease student achievement on tests like the ISTEP+ English like minority ethnic group status, special education student status and students who identify as English Language Learners.

Subject Area

Educational tests and measurements; High schools--Indiana; ISTEP+ English