Open Access Dissertation
Poor children--Education--Iowa; Reading comprehension; Educational tests and measurements--Iowa;
As the K-12 student population in Iowa continues to become more socioeconomically challenged, as evidenced by a continued increase in the free and reduced lunch rates for schools in Iowa, a demand for increased student performance on standardized tests is growing. This dichotomy proves challenging to schools. In general, schools with a higher rate of identification of students eligible for free and reduced lunch rates produce lower achievement scores on standardized tests. The purpose of this study was to (1) Identify the strength of the corollary relationship in Iowa between free and reduced lunch identification rate and 4th grade achievement on Iowa Test of Basic Skills Reading Comprehension Test and (2) To determine if a case study of two schools, who overachieve the expected trend line for 4th grade achievement on Iowa Test of Basic Skills Reading Comprehension Test, can identify traits, programs, practices and beliefs that can account for this over-achievement.
A multi-methodology, both quantitative and qualitative, approach was used for the purpose of this study. Survey questions, teacher/administrator interviews, and classroom observations were conducted to complete a constant comparative case study on two rural Iowa schools whose 4th grade ITBS reading comprehension scores are higher than their identified free and reduced lunch rate would predict. Four research questions guided this study: (1) Does a statistically significant corollary relationship exist between socioeconomic status (SES), as measured using the free and reduced rates of Iowa Schools, and the fourth-grade Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) reading comprehension proficiency scores? (2) What traits, programs, actions, and beliefs do high-achieving schools and generally accepted best-practice reading instuction share? (3) Do common traits, programs, actions, and beliefs exist between two schools that both overachieve the expected trend line? (4) Can the common traits, programs, actions, and beliefs of two overachieving schools explain and account for their higher than expected fourth-grade reading test scores?
The following conclusions were reached in the course of this study: (1) A strong, statistically significant corollary relationship exists between the fourth-grade reading comprehension scores on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills and the free and reduced lunch rate of schools in Iowa. (2) The corollary relationship between the fourth-grade reading comprehension scores on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills and the free and reduced lunch rate of schools in Iowa is not absolute—it can be overcome. (3) Eight Common traits, programs, actions, and beliefs of overachieving schools can explain and account for higher than expected fourth-grade reading test scores.
Date of Award
Doctor of Education
Department of Educational Leadership and Postsecondary Education
1 PDF file (xi, 93 pages)
©2017 - John Speer
Speer, John, "A case study analyzing the traits, programs, actions, and beliefs necessary to overcome the correlative relationship between high free and reduced lunch rates and low standardized test scores" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 426.