The Functional Literacy Examination and student success in a selected Mississippi high school

Annette Dillon McCoy


The Functional Literacy Examination (FLE) is a minimum competency examination administered by the State of Mississippi to thousands of students throughout the districts. This test is given first in the 11th grade. Students have a total of four (4) opportunities to pass this test before graduation. Most students pass this test within the first two administrations. The participants chosen for this study were from a rural Mississippi High School. Because of the location of the school district with very little industry, most students were Free or Reduced price recipients. There were 152 participants. Twenty-three of these students did not graduate. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between the FLE and student success in a selected Mississippi High School. In addition, this study determined if this relationship differs according to academic achievement, age, and gender. The ultimate goal of this study was to gain pertinent information that may be useful in planning for parent/guardian, school personnel, and administrators. The information collected in this study included data from cumulative records for all of the semesters between the 1996-98 school years. There are numerous implications in this study. However, some of the conclusions were: (1) Students who graduated had higher means score on the FLE Composite score than students who did not graduate, FLE Writing showed significant differences. (2) Student grade point averages (GPAs) were the best predictor of the FLE Composite score for graduates. (3) Students who graduated were younger with a mean score of 19.2. Students who did not graduate had a mean score of 20.6. (4) Students who graduated were predominantly female participants, but students who did not graduate were predominantly male participants. (5) All students who did not graduate received free lunch.