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ACEF Journal Vol 3 Issue 1 December 2012

Morris Slate degrees, Wells et al. (2011) documented that more women than men completed postsecondary degrees. Hussar and Bailey (2007) predicted that by 2016, 60% of all college students would be women. Moore and Slate (2008) documented that a higher percentage of girls (17%) enrolled in AP courses than the percentage of boys (13%) who enrolled in AP courses, but that the proportion of boys who scored a 3 or higher was slightly higher than the proportion of girls who scored 3 or higher. In her examination of existing research, Ewing (2006) cited several researchers (e.g., Burnham & Hewitt, 1971; Dodd, Fitzpatrick, De Ayala, & Jennings, 2002; Morgan & Crone, 1993; Morgan & Ramist, 1998) who indicated a positive outcome when students enrolled in a more advanced college course instead of an introductory college course based on their successful performance on an AP exam. Hargrove, Godin, and Dodd (2008) demonstrated strong evidence on a greater number of college credits earned, higher college GPA, and increased graduation rate for students who participated in the AP Program. Dougherty, Mellor, and Jian (2006) documented that students who passed at least one AP exam were more likely to graduate from college in five or fewer years than students who completed an AP course but either did not take the AP exam or did not pass the AP exam. Colangelo, Assouline, and Gross (2004) determined that 59% of students who completed at least one AP course earned a bachelor’s degree compared to 33% for students who did not complete any AP courses in high school. Theoretical Framework In this study, economy of scale was used to understand the manner in which student performance on AP and IB exams might be influenced by school size. According to Jewell (1989), economy of scale is an economic term suggesting that larger schools have greater efficiency and lower costs per student. Also, schools may gain efficiency through specialization because teachers are able to teach courses in their field of expertise. As such, larger schools may be able to offer students a more diverse curriculum and employ teachers with greater expertise in the courses being taught with lower costs per pupil (Jewell, 1989). Thus, students in larger schools may benefit from the expanded course offerings and teacher expertise, resulting in increased academic success on AP and IB exams. Purpose of the Study Slate and Jones (2005) suggested that asking open-ended questions might generate results devoid of bias, avoiding the temptation to structure questions to match a predetermined conclusion regarding the best size for a school. However, the debate over school size and student achievement has not yet provided definitive answers concerning the most appropriate size of school (Tanner & West, 2011). The extent to which gender and school size are related to student performance on AP and IB exams is unclear. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which high school size was related to student performance for boys and girls on the 2009 AP and IB exams in Texas. 7 Vol. 3, No. 1, 2012


ACEF Journal Vol 3 Issue 1 December 2012
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