Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Major Professor

Darlene Bruner, Ed.D.


SES, Minority education, High stakes testing, Middleclass education concept, Academic achievement


Hispanics are the largest and fastest growing minority population in the U.S. requiring limited English proficiency services (Guglielmi, 2008). Many schools and school districts place heavy emphasis on high stakes testing. The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 requires all children to have access to a fair, equal, and high-quality education. Many schools and school districts focus on individual students to show grade level performance for small populations such as limited English proficient (LEP) students. The purpose of this study was to examine the question, "What was the relationship between measures of school and student socioeconomic status, and reading and math achievement of Hispanic LEP high school students?" Guiding this study was the conceptual framework, the middleclass education concept.

This concept suggested that underprivileged students attending an impoverished school had lower academic success than did underprivileged students attending a middleclass school with middleclass values. This study was developed from secondary data analysis of archived data from the Pinellas County School Board database. Pearson correlation coefficients were computed between the variables in this study. The correlation analysis was followed by a multiple regression analysis to estimate the capacity of the subsidized meal program, student absences, gender, grade point average (GPA), and the Norm Referenced Test (NRT) reading and math to explain reading and math achievement, as defined by the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test in reading and math.

The results of this study provided insight that the role played by indices of school and student SES may be different for Hispanic LEP students than for other minority students, such as African American and Hispanic or Latino high school students. The results showed that measures of SES were not as strong as expected based on the current research literature. GPA and NRT provided the strongest explanation of variability for FCAT reading and math scores. Other indicators such as student absences and gender were not statistically significant for explaining the FCAT reading and math scores. Thereby, indicating that the conceptual framework, the Middleclass Education Concept, may not apply to Hispanic LEP high school students and thus, further research for this population is needed.