The Relationship Between Socioeconomic Status and Academic Achievement in North Texas Affluent Schools
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This ex post facto, causal-comparative quantitative study examined the relationship between student socioeconomic status and academic achievement at affluent North Texas schools. Social constructionism, critical theory, and cultural and social reproduction theory were used as the foundation of the study. Using archival data from the 2018-2019 school year for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) in mathematics and reading, scores for students identified as economically disadvantaged were compared with scores of affluent students. Independent samples t-tests were conducted to analyze test scores. The t-tests revealed that there were differences in STAAR scores between economically disadvantaged students and affluent students. Chi-square tests of independence, descriptive statistics, and multivariate linear and logistic regressions were used to ascertain significant group differences. The analyses presented results that showed a significant association between socioeconomic status and academic achievement. Economically disadvantaged students scored significantly lower than affluent students in both mathematics and reading. To analyze results further, economically disadvantaged students and affluent students were compared within their race/ethnic group. These analyses yielded the same results. Economically disadvantaged students in one race/ethnic group scored lower in mathematics and reading than affluent students in the same race/ethnic group. Analyses also showed that socioeconomic status was the most significant predictor of student score on the Mathematics and Reading STAAR when compared to race/ethnicity, gender, and grade level. A call for additional studies is warranted to examine why economically disadvantaged students score lower on STAAR than affluent students.