Necessary, but Not Sufficient: The Mckinney-Vento Act and Academic Achievement in North Carolina

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Children & Schools

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The McKinney–Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvements Act of 2001 (MCKV), which provides funds to local educational agencies (LEAs), is almost a decade old, yet no evaluations of its academic effectiveness have been reported. Using a systems theory framework, the authors answer the question of whether homeless students in grade 6 from LEAs that received MCKV funding scored better in reading comprehension and mathematics on end-of-grade (EOG) test scores than did those from LEAs that did not receive MCKV funding. Data from 2006 and 2007 were provided by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. About 20 percent of the state's LEAs received MCKV grants, which created a treatment group (funded LEAs) and a control group (nonfunded LEAs). Using untreated control group designs with matched pretests (grade 5 EOG test scores) and posttests (grade 6 EOG test scores), 2 × 2 analyses of variance with repeated measures failed to reject the null hypotheses. The authors did not support the hypotheses that MCKV grants improved the academic achievement of homeless students. There was no significant difference in the funded and nonfunded EOG test scores.