Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Franz, Dana P.

Committee Member

Oppenheimer, Seth

Committee Member

Xu, Jianzhong

Committee Member

Burroughs, Charlotte D.

Committee Member

Robichaux-Davis, Rebecca R.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Curriculum and Instruction

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education


Graphing calculator programs have been used on high-stakes tests and teacher-created assessments at the secondary and college level for many years. These programs- are even used on college-placement tests such as the ACT. Beginning with the 2011-2012 school year, the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) made the decision to no longer allow the use of graphing calculator applications and/or programs on the Subject Area Testing Program (SATP2) for Algebra I. Currently, limited research exists to address the influence of graphing calculator program use on high-stakes assessments. The programming capabilities of graphing calculators should not be ignored. Because of the 2011-2012 graphing calculator policy change, a unique opportunity exists in Mississippi to provide valuable information about this issue. Gaining insight about how the use of graphing calculator programs has affected assessment results in the past will give policy makers needed information for creating equitable assessment policies in the future. This research used a causal-comparative research design to determine the influence of the MDE’s decision to no longer allow the use of graphing calculator programs on Mississippi’s Algebra I SATP2. The research questions consider the influence of the policy change with regards to three groups: students, schools in general, and Title I schools in particular. A chi-square test for association was used to examine the student-level data associated with research questions one and two. This analysis examined students’ ability to pass and their performance level on the Algebra I SATP2. The results for both of the chi-square analyses indicated significant results. For research question three, a two-way mixed ANOVA was used to examine the influence of the policy change on Title I schools. For this analysis, Title I schools represent disadvantaged populations. The results indicated no interaction between graphing calculator program use and type of school, but did reveal a main effect for the school type.