Overcoming no pass/no play: an investigation of factors contributing to variation in extracurricular participation eligibility rates among Texas high schools in the University Interscholastic League
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Purpose This study examined the factors contributing to the variation in extracurricular participation eligibility rates among Texas high schools in the University Interscholastic League under the No Pass/No Play law. The program factors examined by this study include extracurricular program type, tutorial program type, and grade monitoring program type. The demographic factors include schools size, student-body socioeconomic status, and student-body ethnicity. The extracurricular programs examined by this study include football, volleyball, girls basketball, boys basketball, and band. Methods One hundred fifty high school principals in Texas completed and returned a No Pass/No Play Principal Questionnaire. The questionnaire obtained information regarding the ineligibility rates of the extracurricular programs examined by this study. Demographic data was retrieved from the Texas Education Agency website. The data analysis was conducted using Statistical Package for Social Studies (SPSS) for Windows Version 11.0. Findings Research Question One examined the relationship between eligibility rates and three demographic factors: school size, student-body ethnicity, and student-body socioeconomic status. The results of the statistical analysis suggest larger schools and schools with a high percentage of minority students tend to have lower eligibility rates than smaller schools and schools with a low percentage of minority students. The socioeconomic status of the student body, the percentage of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch, does not seem to affect eligibility rates, however. Research Question 2 sought to discover what program factors, tutorial program type and grade monitoring program type, increase eligibility rates. Furthermore, Research Question Two examined the effects of these program factors on eligibility rates of schools serving students from different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Surprisingly, the program factors do not appear to have an effect on the rates of student eligibility. Despite what type of tutorial program or what type of grade monitoring program schools employ, the eligibility rates tend to not be affected. This tendency remains constant despite the ethnicity or socioeconomic status of the student body served by the schools. Research Question Three reexamined the same program factors as Research Question Two; however, this research question sought to determine if tutorial program type or grade monitoring program type affect eligibility rates differently in schools of different sizes. Again, neither tutorial program type nor grade monitoring program type seems to affect eligibility rates. There is no relationship between the eligibility rates of schools within different UIL classifications and tutorial program type or grade monitoring program type. In other words, tutorial program type and grade monitoring program type do not affect eligibility rates despite the size of the school. The final research question examined the eligibility rates of the five extracurricular activities in the study: football, volleyball, girls basketball, boys basketball, and band. The question was asked to determine which programs have the highest eligibility rates. The data suggest the eligibility rates of the different extracurricular programs are different. The data suggest a gender division in terms of eligibility rates. The activities including only female students, volleyball and girls basketball, proved to have the highest rate of student eligibility. On the contrary, the activities including only male students had much lower rates of student eligibility. The one mixed-gender activity, band, proved to have a low average eligibility rate, similar to the all male activities.