Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Dr. Lynette Busceme
The purpose of this research was to examine the effects of lunch eligibility and school size on the literacy achievement of African American males. While researching the effects of lunch eligibility and school size on the literacy achievement of African American males, this scholar observed that a correlation between historical viewpoints and the academic performance of African American males were intertwined in the findings and research of some experts. Therefore, this researcher was compelled to intimately explore the literature as it related to the literacy achievement of African American males and how it evolved throughout history. During the development of historical and cultural analysis, the researcher correlated the observations of scholars who asserted their findings concerning the influence of the past on the present literacy performance of African American males, while simultaneously searching for a reference to their socioeconomic status or the size of the schools they attended. Some literature included the impact of poverty on the literacy achievement of students in general, and explicitly, on the literacy achievement of African American males. However, the literature failed to specifically address the literacy performance of African American males who qualify for free or reduced-cost lunch in comparison to those who do not.
Although the findings on poverty were significant, the findings on school size were inconclusive. Researchers, Ready and Lee (2006) studied the impact of class size on the literacy achievement of elementary level students, and Schneider (2016) scrutinized the small school movement that took place in New York City; however, no study directly addressed the effects of school size as it relates to the literacy achievement of African American males. This lack of research concerning the effects of lunch eligibility and school size as it relates to the literacy achievement of African American males makes this research unique and valuable. The findings of which can be used to positively impact educational procedures related to the literacy achievements of all students.
The results of this study indicated the existence of a substantial gap in literacy achievement between African American males in Grades 4, 6, and 8 who were eligible for free or reduced-cost lunches and African American males who were not eligible for free or reduced-cost lunches. Non-eligible students scored significantly higher than did eligible students. These findings aligned with Fantuzzo (2009) who asserted that the third grade African American males of Philadelphia from homes of low socioeconomic status were at risk for academic struggles. In addition, there was a general indication that the size of the schools they attended was not a significant factor in the literacy achievement of African American males in Grades 6 and 8. However, the data did reflect a significant interaction between the size of schools and lunch eligibility among Grade 4 African American males. Thus, indicating that the size of the school was a significant factor when coupled with school lunch eligibility.
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Smith, Sandra, "The Effects of Lunch Eligibility and School Size on the Literacy Achievement of African American Males Communication" (2018). Dissertations. 10.