Can I Do Math If I Can't Read? - The Relationship Between Reading and Mathematics Standards of Learning Assessments in One High School In Virginia
How well students perform in mathematics and sciences continues to be a measure of a country's worth (Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences [CBMS], 2012). Nations that want an educated citizenry have consistently studied ways in which to improve performance in mathematics (Claessens and Engel, 2013; Dearing et al., 2012; Draper and Siebert, 2004). More and more researchers have examined the relationship reading has on mathematics performance (Grimm, 2008; Halaar, Kovas, Dale, Petrill, and Plomin, 2012). This study was an effort to contribute to this growing body of knowledge. Therefore the purpose of this study was to examine what relationship exists between reading and mathematics and whether early reading performance could predict subsequent mathematics performance as measured by the Virginia Standards of Learning Assessments.
Using a sample of students from a Virginia high school, this quantitative study utilized Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) tests as instruments and Chi-square Test of Association as the analysis to address the research questions:
What is the relationship between Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) reading performance and SOL mathematics performance at each grade level in Grade 3 through Grade 8?
What is the relationship between SOL reading performance in Grade 3 and subsequent performance on Virginia SOL End-of-Course Algebra I assessment?
To what extent does SOL reading performance in Grade 3 predict subsequent performance on Virginia SOL End-of-Course Algebra I assessment?
Virginia SOL reading performance was found to be associated with mathematics performance at each grade level. Reading performance at Grade 3 was not found to be associated with Algebra I EOC performance. Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7, and Grade 8 reading performance were all found to be associated with Algebra I EOC performance.
As a limitation, this study utilized data from assessments designed to assess the 2001 Virginia SOL standards, which have since been updated. Therefore should be replicated using the current standards. The results of this study could be used to assist teacher leaders, principals, division leaders, and teacher preparation program leaders with working with teachers to address reading and mathematics deficiencies in a different way.