Date of Award

Spring 5-2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Terry Reid

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Kevin Kopp


This study was conducted to identify factors that are predictive of student achievement outcomes and to analyze these factors in high-poverty schools versus low-poverty schools. Because of accountability standards implemented with the passage of No Child Left Behind, it is critical that educators determine factors that will increase student achievement most significantly. Once the most significant and most predictive variables of student achievement can be identified, stakeholders can implement policies and procedures to address those areas. In addition, instructional strategies can be employed to improve student success. The dependent variable under study was student achievement, which was dissected into two categories of communication art and math scores. The independent variables included were student attendance, class size, and highly qualified teachers. The objective of the study was to establish if a relationship existed between the independent variables and the dependent variable. In addition, a determination of how predictive these independent variables were of the dependent variable was an important aspect of the study. The sample included the entire population of mainstream 9-12 public high schools in a Midwest state. The statistical methods employed were descriptive statistics, Pearson r, p-value, coefficient of determination, and multiple regression. The analysis of the various statistical methods revealed a moderate correlation between student achievement and the independent variables of student attendance and highly qualified teachers for high poverty schools. A significant level of correlation also existed between the below average iv attendance category and student achievement in both groups of high-poverty and low poverty school settings. Additionally, attendance and teacher quality were predictive of both communication arts and math student achievement in the high poverty school setting, with attendance the most predictive. There was no significant relationship between class size and student achievement nor was it predictive of student achievement for either group of schools. The implications of the research will benefit stakeholders due to the effect significant variables have on student achievement in high-poverty schools. Stakeholders can work together to implement policies, procedures, and instructional strategies that can more effectively address the most predictive variables in order to improve student achievement. Additionally, the results are supportive of investigating and addressing the needs of high poverty schools.


Copyright 2009