Type of Document Dissertation Author Morgan, Johnny W. Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Keywords
Date of Defense 2011-05-11 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe 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
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