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ERIC Number: ED556546
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 161
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3036-5780-1
The Effect of High School Literacy Programs on Standardized Test Scores
Brock, Kathryn
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northcentral University
Current National Assessment of Educational Progress results continued their 40-year pattern with two-thirds of U.S. 8th graders not proficient in reading, yet formal reading and literacy instruction ends in elementary school. Lack of reading proficiency can undermine academic progress in high school. Elementary literacy instruction provides foundational skills and strategies, but increased academic expectations require additional skills. Adolescent literacy programs are essential for improving academic progress. The purpose of this quantitative, ex-post-facto correlation study was to determine how a high school adolescent literacy program open to all students may influence students' success in academic content classes. This study evaluated the potential correlation between adolescent literacy program participation and percentage of passing scores on Virginia high school standardized tests. Virginia's Standards of Learning, validated since 1995, provide uniformity and continuity for student learning. Participants included all public high school students in the state. The literature overwhelmingly indicates that participation in an effective literacy program should result in improved reading and literacy skills. This study investigated the correlation between these improved skills and higher percentages of passing scores on state standardized tests. The data did not support the hypothesis of a positive correlation (r = -0.033) between participation in an open literacy program and a higher percentage of passing scores (Wilks' Lambda = 0.993, F(3,176) = 0.377, p = 0.770). Socioeconomic status seemed to show a stronger correlation than literacy program participation (r = -0.718), as greater federally subsidized lunch participation seemed to correspond to lower percentages of passing scores (Wilks' Lambda = 0.230, F(3,149) = 55.319, p = 0.000). Only 40% of responding schools reported an open literacy program in place. More specific information about school's literacy programs may clarify effects, but may also reveal fewer schools with effective programs. Because passing scores may include actual scores as low as 50%, depending on course content, percentage of passing scores may not be sensitive enough to measure literacy program influence. If school average scores were available they might provide a better measure of influence, reflecting a numeric, rather than categorical, representation of student learning. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress