Term of Award

Winter 2003

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Administration

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

Michael D. Richardson

Committee Member 1

James Burnham

Committee Member 2

Lucinda Chance

Committee Member 3

T. C. Chan

Abstract

This study was intended to determine if selected economic variables were related to student performance in South Carolina public school districts. Four predictor variables representing selected economic variables were compared with a criterion variable representing student performance, while four covariant factors representing school demographic differences were statistically held constant to reduce their possible effects. I he four selected economic variables were per-pupil state funding, per-pupil expenditure, per-pupil school district wealth, and per-pupil local revenue, all measured by dollar amounts. The criterion variable was the PACT exit examination, measured by percent for each district. The four covariant factors were socioeconomic status, student race, student/teacher ratios, and percentage of teachers with advanced degrees. With the exception of student/teacher ratios, the covariant factors were measured by a percentage for each school district. Participants in the study were the 85 public school districts in South Carolina. The most recently available data were obtained from the South Carolina Department of Education through the Annual School District Report Card System for South Carolina Public Schools and School Districts for 2001-2002. South Carolina Education Profiles for 2001-2002. and INSITE, the financial analysis model for education in South Carolina. In addition to examining the descriptive statistics and post hoc multiple comparisons, a simultaneous multiple regression analysis was performed on the data so that relationships could be determined among the eight independent (four predictor and four control) variables and one dependent (criterion) variable. The dependent variable (student performance) was calculated using the percentage of 10th grade students who passed all three subtests on their first attempt on the 2001-2002 PACT exit examination. The results indicated that all four selected economic variables had a weak association with student performance when controlling for the four school demographics. Per-pupil state funding and per-pupil expenditures both had a very weak positive relationship with the PACT exit examination pass rate that was not highly significant (p < .01) in the partial correlation or the regression analysis. Per-pupil school district wealth and per-pupil local revenue both had a very weak negative relationship with the PACT exit examination rate that was not highly significant (p < .01) in the partial correlation or regression analyses. Results of this study indicated that none of the four selected economic variables had an impact on student performance in South Carolina public school districts.

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