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Journal of Public Management & Social Policy

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between economic determinants and student academic performance indicators of public school students in the State of Mississippi. It was hypothesized that public school districts with higher economic security leads to higher academic achievement. Data for the study were obtained through the Mississippi Department of Education Children’s First Annual Report for school year 2012 -2013, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count Datacenter for 2013. Using bivariate analyses and multiple regression models, the results revealed that students’ academic performance indicators were statistically significantly with weak to moderate effects for each of the economic factors with the exception of unemployment rate in the bivariate analysis, and unemployment rate and median household income in the multiple regression model which were found to be nonsignificant. Further, the multiple regression analyses indicated that poverty in the school district was the best predictor in explaining the differences in student performance as an educational outcome. This study suggests that while student performance is linked to the school learning environment, residing in low-income families within high poverty school districts with a dwindling property tax-base is just as important when explaining the differences in student performance.

 

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