Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Pamela Scott

Committee Members

William Flora, Cecil Blankenship, Susan French-Graybeal


The purpose of this study was to determine if there was a difference between a student’s reading/language arts TCAP scale score and his or her lunch status for students in grades three, four, & five within two school systems in Tennessee. The population consisted of 2,442 students who were in grades three, four, and five during the 2014-2015 school year in a city school system in east Tennessee and a county school system in middle Tennessee. The Kruskal-Wallis H, a non-parametric test, was used to identify statistically significant differences in the medians of the reading/language arts TCAP scores across the three types of lunch payment status. The independent variable was the type of student lunch status (free, reduced, and full pay). The dependent variable was the reading/language arts TCAP scale score of students in grade three, four, and five.

The quantitative findings revealed the relationship between student lunch status group and reading/language arts TCAP scale score was significant for all four research questions. In all analyses, the difference in the reading/language arts TCAP scale scores of students in the free lunch status group and the full pay lunch status group was significant. When the data from both school systems were combined, there was a significant difference in the scale scores between the free and full pay lunch status groups, the free and reduced lunch status groups, and the reduced and full pay lunch status groups.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.