Griffin, Furlow, and Randall
Differences In Single- and Two-Parent Household Scores
Differences In Single- and Two-Parent Households Criterion Referenced Competency Test Scores
Kristy Griffin, Cassie Furlow, and Jondrea Randall
Columbus State University, Valdosta State University, and Georgia Southern University
Our group decided to research the impact of single parent versus two parent homes on student test scores. To investigate, we will be using CRCT scores from 5th grade students attending Hutchinson Elementary School in Atlanta. Our research question is as follows: At Hutchinson Elementary School, is there a significant difference in the Social Studies CRCT scores of 5th grade students from two parent households compared to children who are being raised by a single parent? The purpose of this project is to determine the degree of impact, if any, that a student’s home life has on standardized test scores. The data gathered for this research project could potentially be used by schools to identify an issue in student achievement, and potentially implement interventions to help counteract the negative impact on student scores. Theoretically, the data may also be used to help schools understand positive or negative trends in overall average scores for the school. For example, a principal may look at student demographics to explain, at least in part, a significant increase or decrease in a particular teacher’s class. Because of the nature of this research, there are several limitations to our research. First, there may be households that do not technically fit either of the two categories. Some students may have two adults at home, but neither may be a parent. Some children live with other relatives, such as grandparents or aunts and uncles. Some children may have two parents normally living in the home, but for one reason or another (deployment, incarceration, etc.), only one adult is caring for the children for an extended period of time. For the purposes of this study, we will group all children with two adults living in the home in one category, and students with only one adult in the household in the other. However, further research could be done to include multiple family dynamics, which would most likely yield more useful results. Another limitation to this research is the amount of data we were able to obtain. We were only given permission to pull data from one 5th grade group at one school. It would be interesting to see if the results would follow the same pattern. As with any research project, more data equates to more validity. Finally, the analysis is limited by inherent student variables. Each score represents an individual child with unique talents and limitations. While our research can detect a general difference in the test scores, the analysis would be more thorough if we could use a larger group and disaggregate the data further. To conduct this study, we used qualitative and quantitative data obtained from Hutchinson Elementary school. First, we obtained permission from the school’s administration to view CRCT scores and student data for a 5th grade class. We removed all personally identifying information comparing the scores. We calculated the statistics using mean, standard deviation and effect size. We composed open-ended questions which we presented to a few faculty and staff members at the school. We then used those answers to determine if our data was supported by the professional opinion of the school employees.
Table 1. Comparison of CRCT 5th Grade Social Studies Scores by Parent-Household
95% Confidence Interval