Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Specialist in Education (Ed.S.)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Leon Dappen


The design of the study was to analyze the mastery level of tenth grade students at Millard North High School to determine the effectiveness of extended, uninterrupted time on their successful completion of the Analytical Writing Assessment. The Analytical Writing Assessment is a three prompt writing assessment that must be passed in order for a student to graduate from the Millard Public Schools. In the fall of 2004, an analysis of writing results of Millard North High School students lead to concerns over writing instruction in the classroom and testing procedures. Although the assessment is not a timed test, it was believed that the class bell ringing at the end of a fifty-minute period was creating an artificial conclusion to the test for many students. The first step was to attempt to change the testing procedures in the spring of 2006. As part of the changes in testing procedures, students who had only had fifty minutes to complete the writing assessment in the past were given ninety minutes of uninterrupted time (no bells or other interruptions) to complete two of the three prompts of the Analytical Writing Assessment. As a result, in the spring of 2006, Millard North High School experienced significant increases in the mastery level of students writing assessment scores. Because of concerns over test security and consistency in procedures between the three high school, a committee established changes to the district procedures for the Analytical Writing Assessment in the spring of 2006. As part of the procedural changes, each student in all three high schools would be tested over the same prompt on the same day, for three days. In addition, all students would be given ninety minutes of uninterrupted time to complete each of the three writing assessments. The result was sustained higher mastery level scores for students at Millard North High School on the Analytical Writing Assessment.


Ed.S. Field Project Presented to the Department of Education Administration and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Educational Specialist University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright Chuck Story April, 2007