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paper v3 - Jordan Nakamura Geography 326 Research Paper...

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Jordan Nakamura Geography 326 Research Paper Section AD INTODUCTION America is commonly known as “the home of the brave and land of the free”. The state of Washington is only a small part of this beautiful country, exuding American greatness through diversity. However, according to some, levels of diversity can negatively affect the results of standardized tests, such as the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL). In a research paper conducted by Martin Abbott, Jeff Joireman, it was stated that there is a “negative relationship between school poverty and student achievement” (Abbott and Joiremann 2001). Also, in another study, Orlich and Gifford found correlations that “as poverty increases, failure rate in the WASL increases” (Orlich and Gifford 2001). Both of these studies proved that poverty is related to lower scores on standardized tests, while also taking into account ethnicity and social conditions. One fact to take into consideration is that in Abbott and Joireman’s paper, they found that ethnicity is also a factor in low test scores. They discovered that “ethnicity relates to low income, and low income in turn relates to academic achievement” (Abbott and Joireman 2001). I thought it would be interesting to verify whether these critiques matched with WASL scores in 2003. Both studied utilized free or reduced lunch as a proxy for low income students. So I decided to research if there was any correlation between WASL scores and low income students within different districts of Washington. My hypothesis included the idea that there would be a strong negative correlation between schools with elevated numbers of low income students and WASL scores in all subjects. Due to the fact that I did not have the data of low income students, I used the number of students who received free or reduced lunch. This would be an accurate representation of low income because in order to qualify for free or reduced lunch, families would need to be making less than a set amount of money per year. Furthermore, other professional research that is done on this topic also uses the “free or reduced lunch” percent as a measure of low income. This research question is important, because if the findings are similar, then it confirms the research done on WASL scores in 2001, and also displaying a similar trend 2 years later. RESEARCH DESIGN AND DATA ANALYSIS
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Jordan Nakamura Geography 326 Research Paper Section AD In my research, Washington was divided into four different sections; North, East, West, and South. Then I calculated the total amount of students in each district, as well as the total amount of students receiving free or reduced lunch. From there, the percentage of students in each district that
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