Committee Chair

Rutledge, Valerie C.

Committee Member

Bernard, Hinsdale; Davis, Lloyd; Crawford, Elizabeth K.


Dept. of Education


College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to determine if there were definable factors, which contributed to or impacted the ACT scores, end of course test scores or grade point averages of groups of high school students who possessed those factors. The hypothesis that this study adopted was that there were definable factors that created barriers to success for students. It was hypothesized that when these negative factors were identified and when students were grouped according to the factors that they possessed, differences in the success these groups achieved, with regard to ACT scores, end of course test scores, and grade point average, become readily apparent. In the sample of 288 students, groups that possessed three potential negative factors were identified. The three negative factors were high absenteeism, lack of a two-parent family structure and low socio-economic status. Seven groups possessing one or more of these factors were compared with the group that possessed none of the factors. In this research study, some of the groups were predicted to be adversely affected by their characteristics, resulting in lower ACT scores and end of course exams. It was also hypothesized that groups, whose members lacked the negative characteristics, would have higher scores on these tests. The academic performance of these groups was tested to see if there were statistical differences in the mean scores of each group. A series of one-way analysis of variance, ANOVA tests were used to determine if there were significant differences between the mean scores of these disaggregated groups. The final variance measurement was then tested for statistical significance. When it was found that the groups were significantly different with regard to their test results then the study hypothesis was confirmed that the groups could be different due to the factors that they possessed. The supposition, at this point, was that educational leaders should focus on these factors and others that could impact academic success to target educational reforms. As additional factors are identified, reforms can be made to reduce these factors among the students or minimize their effects upon the students and the schools that they attend.


Ed. D.; A dissertation submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Education.




Educational equalization; Academic achievement -- Evaluation; Educational tests and measurements


Educational success; Academic achievement; Educational risk factors

Document Type

Doctoral dissertations




xii, 167 leaves