Reading performance and economic status of Texas Grade 3 underrepresented students: A multiyear, statewide investigation
The purpose of this journal-ready dissertation was to examine the extent to which differences were present by student demographic characteristic in the reading achievement of Texas Grade 3 students. In the first article, the extent to which the economic status (i.e., Poor, Not Poor) of Grade 3 underrepresented boys in Texas is related to their reading achievement was examined. In the second article, the degree to which the economic status (i.e., Poor, Not Poor) of Grade 3 underrepresented girls in Texas is related to their reading achievement was addressed. In the third study, the degree to which demographic characteristics (i.e., economic status, ethnicity/race, English Language Learner status) of Grade 3 students in Texas is related to their reading achievement was determined. Utilizing archival data, an analysis of academic performance for the 2015-2016 through the 2018-2019 school years was conducted to determine the degree to which trends are present.
Method For this quantitative study, a causal-comparative research design was present. Archival data were obtained from the Texas Education Agency Public Education Information Management System for the 2015-2016, 2016-2017, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019 school years for all Grade 3 students who took the STAAR Reading assessment during the four school years, as well as their student demographic characteristics. Findings Underrepresented boys who were Poor were outperformed by their counterparts who were Not Poor in every STAAR Reading Reporting Category and every Grade Level Phase-in Standard. Similarly, in all cases, reading achievement was lowest for underrepresented girls who were Poor. Regarding student reading achievement by demographic characteristics, statistically significant results were present in all four school years for boys and for girls. In three of the four years analyzed regarding the performance of boys, being Poor, Black, or Hispanic was indicative of not meeting the Meets Grade Level standard. In three of the four years investigated regarding the performance of girls, being White or Asian was indicative of meeting the Meets Grade Level standard. Results in all four school years and for all three articles were consistent with existing research. Implications for policy and practice and recommendations for future research were provided.