An Examination of Academic Growth of Minority Elementary Magnet School Students

David Wayne Snapp, Gardner-Webb University


This research was designed to examine the difference in student performance between minority magnet school students who live in the residential area for those magnet schools and minority students assigned to a non-magnet residential school. This difference in performance was measured by scale score differences from the North Carolina End-of-Grade tests in reading and math after the sample scores were converted to z scores using the state mean and standard deviation for the given years in the study. Performance growth was measured for students who were in the third grade in 2009-2010 and remained at their school through the fifth grade in 2011-2012.

Participants used in the study were selected based on their race, the size of the school they attended, the percent of minority students attending that school, and whether they lived in the residential boundary for their school.

The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to import and evaluate data received from the district's accountability department. A mixed, two-factor repeated measures analysis of variance was used to examine the data through multiple independent variables and the dependent variables of math and reading tests.

A mixed, two-factor repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed that there was a p value of .007 for groups over time, where the magnet and zone schools performed differently. A univariate, repeated-measures ANOVA of math scores determined that there was no statistically significant interaction between the groups over time in math. However, the same univariate analysis, when performed for reading scores, showed a p value of .005, meaning the type of school may have impacted the achievement of the students in the study.