Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

At-Risk Students: An Analysis of School Improvement Grants in the State of Missouri
by Witherspoon, Anissa, Ed.D., Lindenwood University, 2017, 137; 10643344
Abstract (Summary)

The educational system in the United States continues to pose many challenges for law and policy makers. Many of these challenges can be traced back to two landmark cases, Plessy vs. Ferguson and Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka. And, while the U.S. Department of Education developed programs to address many of these issues, the cost versus the benefits must be considered. This research study examined the impact of federally-funded School Improvement Grants (SIGs) for elementary, middle, and high schools across the state of Missouri from 2010 to 2015 on retention rates, graduation rates, and test scores. The state of Missouri identified 56 schools as low-performing, and therefore, eligible to receive the grants. Specifically, this study examined whether the amount of SIG funds allocated per student was associated with increases in achievement scores (mathematics and English), graduation rates, and dropout rates. Using bivariate regression, the findings showed a statistically significant relationship only between the amount of SIG funds allocated per student and English scores. Surprisingly, the relationship showed that as the amount of funds allocated per student increased, English scores decreased. However, after a multivariate regression, findings indicated mathematics scores significantly increased as the amount of SIG funds per student increased, while English scores remained significant in the same direction. This research study also analyzed the relationship between the amount of SIG funds allocated per student and median household income during the first year the funds were disseminated. Because special attention was given to the educational achievement gap and race/ethnicity, this research study also compared Black and White student populations. The results showed that as the population of Black students increased, mathematics and English scores decreased. Furthermore, the findings showed that as the population of Black students increased, the amount of SIG funds allocated per student decreased. This suggested that there may be a need to examine how funds were allocated and what other issues may have confounded the relationships between SIG funds and the major variables presented in this research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Weir, Graham
Commitee: Long, John, Wisdom, Sherrie
School: Lindenwood University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 79/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational tests & measurements, Educational evaluation
Keywords: Graduation rates, Retention, School improvement grants
Publication Number: 10643344
ISBN: 978-0-355-48098-6
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