Differences in the Reading Achievement of Texas Grade 3 English Language Learners as a Function of their Economic Status, Ethnicity/Race, and Gender: A Multiyear Statewide Study
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Purpose The purpose of this journal-ready dissertation was to examine the degree to which differences were present in the reading achievement of Grade 3 English Language Learners by their economic status, ethnicity/race, and gender. Specifically analyzed in the first investigation were the current Texas state-mandated assessments in reading and the extent to which test scores differed among English Language Learners who were Not Poor (i.e., did not qualify for the reduced or free lunch program), for English Language Learners who were Moderately Poor (i.e., qualified for the reduced lunch program), and for English Language Learners who were Extremely Poor (i.e., qualified for the free lunch program). In the second investigation, the current Texas state-mandated assessment in reading was examined to determine the extent to which test scores differed by the ethnicity/race (i.e., Asian, Black, Hispanic, and White) of English Language Learners. The purpose of the third investigation was to ascertain the degree to which reading scores were different between English Language Learner boys and girls. By examining three years of Texas statewide data in each article, the degree to which trends were present in the reading performance by the economic status, ethnicity/race, and gender of Grade 3 English Language Learners was determined. Method A casual comparative research design was used herein. Texas archival data on English Language Learners were analyzed for the 2012-2013 through the 2014-2015 school years. Inferential statistical procedures were calculated to determine whether differences in reading were present by economic disadvantage, ethnicity/race, and gender. Findings For each statistical analysis, as the poverty level of English Language Learners decreased, their reading performance was statistically significantly lower. Regarding ethnicity/race, Asian English Language Learners had statistically significantly higher reading performance than Hispanic, Black, and White English Language Learners in every analysis. Hispanic English Language Learners had the statistically poorest reading performance in most comparisons. White, Hispanic, and Black English Language Learners, had similar results throughout the comparisons. Concerning gender, English Language Learner girls outperformed English Language Learner boys in all statistical analyses. Results were congruent with existing literature regarding the relationship of economic status, ethnicity/race, and gender with reading performance.