Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

Document Type



The primary purpose of this study is to determine the influence of selected demographic and academic factors on the science achievement among middle school students in Louisiana. The dependent variable for this study was Science achievement as measured by the Eighth Grade LEAP Test. The independent variables consisted of selected demographic characteristics and student scores on the ELA, Reading, Mathematics, and Social Studies sections of the Eighth Grade LEAP Test and their subtests. The target population of this study was Eighth Grade students in the public schools of Louisiana who were required to successfully complete the LEAP test in order to reach the Ninth Grade. The sample for the study was made up of all Eighth Grade students in the public schools of Louisiana who complete the LEAP test during the Spring testing period in 2009. Data was received from the Louisiana State Department of Education and transferred into an Excel file and then into a SPSS file. The data did not identify the students. All students were described in the first research objective, but for the remaining objectives students who were categorized as Special Education, 504, or Limited English Proficiency were removed from the study. The major findings of the study were that there was a significant difference between the different races in the study on their Science achievement. A relationship was found between socioeconomic status and Science scores as well. Those who received their lunch for free tended to score lower than those who paid full price or a reduced price for lunch. Lunch Status-Free explained 13.5% of the variance in Science scores. The total Social Studies Score explained an additional 55.3%. Student raw score percentages in Math and Reading explained an additional 4.9% and 1.0% respectively. This researcher concluded that there was a connection between Science scores and the scores in other academic subjects. He recommended that teachers in Science develop strong relationships with teachers in Math, ELA, Reading, and Social Studies in order to develop uniform techniques which students can use to raise test scores.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Burnett, Michael