The differences among eighth-grade students of varied mobility in reading and mathematics achievement as measured by the Iowa Test of Basic Skills
The primary purpose of this study was to determine if there was a difference between levels of student mobility on eighth-grade student reading and mathematics achievement as measured by the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. The study also sought to determine if there was a difference between the level of student mobility and reading and mathematics achievement as measured by the Iowa Test of Basic Skills between male and female students and between students of varying races/ethnicity. The study sample of this investigation consisted of 163 eighth-grade students who took the Iowa Test of Basic Skills during the 1998-1999 school year at a small southeastern United States public high school. The standardized test scores of each subject were documented in the students, cumulative records. The records were perused and the test scores were recorded for each subject in reading and mathematics. The number of times the student had moved was also included in the cumulative record and recorded. The researcher also determined and documented the students, race, federal lunch program status (socioeconomic status), and gender. The data were screened to evaluate group sizes. It was apparent that adequate group sizes existed for the mobility and gender variables. However, the ethnicity category was predominately White. Therefore, the minority categories (Black, Hispanic, and Asian) were collapsed into one group, thereby creating a two-level ethnicity variable (White and Other). In addition, the three-level lunch status variable (paid, free, and reduced) demonstrated low group size particularly for the reduced students. Therefore, it was determined to combine the free and reduced lunch students into one category as an assessment of overall low socioeconomic status. In sum, a 4 (no, slight, moderate, and high mobility) x 2 (gender) x 2 (White and Other) x 2 (paid and free/reduced lunch) design was created. A crosstabulation analysis was conducted to evaluate all cell sizes for the analysis of variance analyses. It was determined that all cells had sufficient sample sizes for analysis. The cell sizes ranged from 5 to 66, although only four cells in the analysis had less than 10 students. The overall findings of this study suggest a race by mobility group interaction on reading achievement as measured by the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. The findings suggest that mobility has a slight differential effect on Whites as compared to minorities. Increased mobility corresponded to lower reading achievement scores for Whites but slightly increased scores for minorities. This study also suggests a socioeconomic level by mobility interaction on mathematics achievement as measured by the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. The findings suggest that mobility was most deleterious for students who did not receive free or reduced lunch. Increased mobility had negative effects on those of a higher socioeconomic status (as operationalized by paid versus free or reduced lunch). Students receiving free or reduced lunch were relatively stable across mobility groups.