Date of Award


Degree Name

Educational Leadership


College of Education

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Ronald B. Childress

Second Advisor

Sandra Bailey

Third Advisor

Mary Harris-John

Fourth Advisor

Bobbi Nicholson

Fifth Advisor

Melanie Vickers


The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of single-sex versus mixedsex classes on middle school student achievement. It was a case study of Stonewall Jackson Middle School in Charleston, West Virginia, an inner-city school with approximately 600 students, of which 30% were minority (mostly black), 30% were special needs, and 70% were classified low socio-economic status (SES). Student WESTEST (West Virginia Educational Standards Test) scores in reading/language arts and math were collected and compared from the school years 2003-2004 and 2004-2005. Each student’s scores from the first year were compared to that same student’s scores from the second year. Each student in the first year (2003-2004) was in mixed-sex classes and each student in the second year (2004-2005) was in single-sex classes. Two hundred seventy nine matched pairs of scores were compared. An alpha level of .05 was set as the criterion for the level of significance. A paired-samples T-test was used to determine whether the difference between the means was statistically significant. Student groups studied were male/female; black/white; low/high SES; and general education/special education. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine whether there were differences between groups. A .01 level of significance was found for both reading/language arts and math between mixed-sex and single-sex classes. No significance was found for the between group improvement scores. Results of this study provide support for using single-sex classes to improve the academic achievement of middle school students.


Single-sex classes (Education)

Academic achievement.

Education, Elementary.