Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Specialist in Education (Ed.S.)



First Advisor

Dr. Roberty Woody

Second Advisor

Dr. Kenneth Smith

Third Advisor

Dr. Richard Wikoff


The present study focused on the effects of a one year curriculum modification project on the frequency of assigned unsatisfactory grades and student behavioral adjustment. All sixth grade students attending Plattsmouth Middle School during the 1990-1991 school year participated in the study (121 total). A subset of these students were selected for further intervention on the basis of a number of factors which put them at-risk for poor academic performance (30 total). During the spring of the 1989-1990 school year, a curriculum modification project was developed in an attempt to reduce the incidence of unsatisfactory grades and improve student behavior. All sixth grade teachers responsible for the core academic areas of mathematics, language arts, science, reading and social studies were involved in the study. The program consisted of the purchase of new supplemental teaching materials and a two week in-service program which allowed teachers to revise their curriculum and learn alternative teaching methods to better serve the needs of low-achieving students. The modified curriculum program was implemented during the 1990-1991 school year. Results of the program evaluation revealed no significant decreases in the frequency of assigned unsatisfactory grades during the year of implementation of the alternative educational program in comparison to the traditional program in place during the 1989-1990 school year. Results for two academic areas indicated program effects that approached significance in the areas of language arts and reading (p < .10). Results of a pre and post-test measure of student behavioral adjustment indicated positive results. At-risk students were rated higher on the Behavioral Evaluation Scale - 2 by their core teachers following exposure to the alternative educational program.


A Project Presented to the Department of Psychology 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 Kathleen M. Bird August, 1991