Socioeconomic Status and Academic Achievement in Reading Growth

Date of Award

Winter 12-20-2018

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Michael Coquyt



The purpose of this research was to investigate the relationship between socioeconomic backgrounds and academic achievement in reading growth among second grade students. This investigation included assessments being administered through the Fountas and Pinnell benchmarking kit and the Aimsweb fluency assessment. The Fountas and Pinnell assessment identified the students’ instructional level, and the Aimsweb assessment measured their fluency, which is an imperative skill for comprehension. Once the baseline scores were identified, small group guided reading instruction was given to all students during the reading period of each day. The students were assessed for text level and fluency skills once again at the conclusion of this study in order to measure their growth. Outcome analysis includes the comparison between the participants’ academic achievement in reading growth and their socioeconomic backgrounds.

This research project produced results that reflected a positive correlation between socioeconomic status and academic achievement in reading growth. The fluency assessment results indicated that 40% of the students made adequate growth and all participants who made adequate growth, came from families who have a large enough income to support school lunch. Sixty percent of students did not make adequate growth in oral reading fluency, and of these students, 92% receive free lunch based on the yearly household income. This study also found that 41% of participants remained stagnant in their text level growth, and 100% of these participants qualified for the free or reduced lunch program based on the annual income of their household.

The research from this study shows that fluency and comprehension growth are slower processes for children of lower socioeconomic households. Through the use of reading records and comprehension assessments, students can be monitored accurately and lessons can be planned according to their specific needs. This research indicates that all students are must receive a valuable and meaningful education and through the understanding of at-risk readers from low socioeconomic homes, educators are able to provide differentiated instruction that allow for optimal student growth.

Abstract only: No full text available.