Title page for ETD etd-07012011-113432

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Morgan, Johnny W.
Author's Email Address jmorgan@agcenter.lsu.edu
URN etd-07012011-113432
Title The Influence of Selected Demographic Characteristics on the Reading Ability of Fourth Grade Students in Louisiana
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Human Resource Education Workforce Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Burnett, Michael F. Committee Chair
Johnson, Earl C. Committee Member
Johnson, Geraldine H. Committee Member
Verma, Satish Committee Member
Bickmore, Steven T. Dean's Representative
  • Louisiana
  • fourth-grade
  • literacy
  • achievement
  • reading
Date of Defense 2011-05-11
Availability unrestricted
The primary purpose of this study was to determine the influence of selected

demographic characteristics on the reading ability of fourth grade students in Louisiana. The

dependent variable for this study was reading ability of fourth grade students. Independent

variables were demographic characteristics as measured by reading achievement (overall reading

score and subscale reading score on the LEAP assessment). The Louisiana Educational

Assessment Program (LEAP) exam is a high-stakes test that is administered to fourth grade

students in Louisiana. Students must pass specific portions of the test to be promoted to fifth

grade. Academic achievement data on the LEAP test were obtained from the Louisiana

Department of Education.

The sample for the study was all fourth grade students enrolled in public elementary

schools in Louisiana during the 2008-2009 school year who were not classified as special

education, 504, or Limited English Proficiency. Academic achievement, as measured by

Reading, Math and English Language Arts scores on the LEAP, was described and correlated

with selected demographic characteristics. Demographic findings of the study showed that the

largest groups of subjects were of the Caucasian race and female gender.

Findings of the study indicated that African American students scored lower than all

other students on all Reading, Math and English Language Arts measures examined.

The researcher concluded that the interaction factor between Socioeconomic Status and

African American racial status was highly significant in the achievement of fourth grade

students. Another conclusion of the study was that the Caucasian race is no longer the majority

of fourth grade students in public schools in Louisiana.

The researcher recommended that state-level administrators of educational programs in

Louisiana develop new courses that would provide more remedial help for low socioeconomic

African American students to help them to close the gap that is currently apparent with the other

racial groups.

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