Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Paper presented at the 39th annual meeting of the Northeastern Educational Research Association, October 23, 2008, Rocky Hill, CT.


The purpose of this study is to conduct cluster analyses, resulting in groupings of N=113 districts based on socioeconomic status (SES), which is the independent variable and primary correlate of performance. It is a quantitative analysis of N=113 districts in Massachusetts for the period from 2000 to 2005. The study conducts cluster analyses to evaluate district performance as measured by student achievement. The problem is stated by National Research Council (1999) that: “Indeterminacy characterizes education production”. Indeterminacy is represented by variation in the N=113 districts’ performance. The groupings of performance obtained from the cluster analyses provide information about the types and magnitude of indeterminacy. The methodology is based on inductive pattern recognition (Trochim (1985). Hierarchical Cluster Analysis (HCA) is used to group districts along a performance continuum and assess variability between SES and district performance. The hypothesis of the study is that variation in performance relates to change in capacity which derives from positive or negative transformation of resources as they are processed by organizations (Porter, 1985)

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Simpson, P., Gable, R.K., Kite, S.L. (2008). Connecting resources to student achievement: Assessment of the indeterminacy of district performance. Paper presented at the Northeast Educational Research Association Annual Conference, Rocky Hill, CT.



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