Oliver, Abbigail Suzanne (Indiana State University, 2014-08)
      There were three primary purposes of this study. One purpose of the study was to increase the understanding and awareness of parental involvement with regard to their children’s education. The second purpose of the study was to analyze two schools’ poverty levels in regard to their students’ academic goals. Last, the study was to analyze and understand parental involvement in regard to the academic goals parents have for their children. Demographic data regarding two schools’ level of poverty were collected from the Indiana Department of Education. The study was to add more information to the existing data in regard to parental involvement. Evidence was provided from a literature review and the responses from 158 parental surveys. The surveys were mailed directly to the parents and returned anonymously to me. Each respondent was asked to answer five questions. The study sample included two Indiana public schools, one with a poverty rate of 65.5% and the other 16.8% poverty. The data was analyzed using Chi-square, t test, and single ANOVA to the test the null hypotheses. The data supported there was a relationship between the educational level of the parents and the educational goals for their children. In addition, the data supported a significant difference between the amount of time a female parent spent and the mean amount of time a male parent spent assisting with schoolwork.
    • School Factors Related to Reading Achievement in Rural Schools with and without High Poverty

      Miller, Seth W.
      This quantitative study identified how rural schools differ on five school-level factors related to student achievement according to their performance on Grade 3 reading. Through use of a MANOVA test, it was shown that principals of high-poverty rural schools that made AYP in Grade 3 reading reported significantly higher levels of guaranteed and viable curriculum than principals of high-poverty rural schools that did not make AYP. There were no significant differences in the presence of the school-level factors in rural schools without high poverty based on the principal reports. Additionally, the study identified which school-level factors predict student achievement in rural schools with and without high poverty. Through use of a multiple regression test, it was determined that the school-level factors did not serve as significant predictors of Grade 3 reading performance in the high poverty rural schools. One factor, guaranteed and viable curriculum, was shown to predict for student achievement in rural schools without high poverty. In conducting this study, additional research questions were addressed. Through linear regression, it was demonstrated that poverty accounted for much more of the variance in reading scores in non-rural schools (58%, N = 1,761) than in rural schools (19%, N = 427). Through multivariate multiple regression testing, it was found that there was not a significant ability for either Grade 3 reading performance or poverty to predict for the school-level factors in rural schools. Finally, through multiple regression testing, it was determined that three predictors (poverty, guaranteed and viable curriculum, and safe and orderly environment) were able to significantly predict reading scores for rural schools. The results of the study provide rural school leaders a better understanding of the overall strengths and weaknesses of a particular school and the potential benefits of school improvement initiatives geared around school-level factors. This knowledge will prove useful to the overall research base on rural school effectiveness. More specifically, this knowledge will help guide the decisions of school leaders concerned with improving student achievement in rural school districts with high poverty.