Thesis

Gender gap in literacy

This study focuses on the Elementary School Gender Gap in Literacy. Male and female achievement data on the California Standards Test (CST) and California Achievement Test (CAT/6) from the years 2002 through 2006 were analyzed. The study determined a gender gap existed within the five North County Coastal Schools Districts: Del Mar, Cardiff, Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe, and Solana Beach with female students outperforming male students. Using Chi Square analysis and p value the North County elementary level gender gap was determined to be statistically significant. Specific years were analyzed to determine further statistical significance for each of the districts. Three districts were then analyzed for grades two through six to determine statistical significance. Additionally, the North County testing data were compared to San Diego County CST data and the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP). The analysis indicated that although males continue to perform below their female counterparts, over the five years analyzed, males have increased their performance by 13%, whereas females have only made gains of 9%. It was also noted that North County sixth grade male students closed the gender gap in 2003. Unfortunately, the gender gap in sixth grade actually increased over time unlike any of the other grade levels analyzed. Keywords: elementary gender gap, literacy performance, North County Coastal School Districts, gender

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