Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Dr. Bruce Bryant
This dissertation provides additional background to the limited research regarding the effectiveness of the use of state categorical money on literacy achievement measured by the Arkansas Literacy Benchmark Exam for a cohort of third through sixth grade students and a cohort of fifth through eighth grade students in Arkansas school districts. Using a non-experimental design, the researcher tested two hypotheses using a mixed factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA). The independent variables for the two hypotheses were change over time with two levels measured in school years (2008 versus 2009 versus 2010 versus 2011) and the two NSLA funding levels. The dependent variables were literacy achievement measured by the scaled scores from the 2009-2012 Arkansas Benchmark Examination for the students in the sample.
Using descriptive statistics, the researcher also asked two research questions to determine how program expenditures were allocated among six researcher-defined categories by districts assigned to two categories, and the researcher sought to determine how the additional moneys were expended.
The researcher established four cohorts and used a stratified random sampling selection process to choose 320 participants for the study from six school districts. Two cohorts of students in each group who were consecutively enrolled for all years during Grades 3 through 6 (Hypothesis 1) and Grades 5 through 8 (Hypothesis 2) were selected. The selected districts were stratified into two groups: (a) changed NSLA funding level and (b) unchanged NSLA funding level. Stratifying the participants was needed since the main purpose of the study was to observe differences between changed and unchanged NSLA funding level groups.
The results of this study showed no significant interaction between the independent variable of NSLA funding and the dependent variable literacy achievement scores. However, there was a significant interaction between the independent variable of change over time and the dependent variable literacy achievement scores. For the main effect of time, a significant difference on literacy achievement was observed over time. More NSLA funding was spent on non-literacy categories than literacy categories. This observation was true for both the changed and unchanged NSLA funding level groups.
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Gales, Rick, "Effects of Poverty Funding on Literacy Achievement Over Time in Arkansas Schools" (2014). Dissertations. 20.