Date of Award

Spring 5-2000

Document Type


Degree Name

Honors College Theses



First Advisor

Dr. Roy Jacobs

Second Advisor

Dr. Joyce W. O'Rourke

Third Advisor

Dr. Beverly Wade


Concern over the years has been highly concentrated on minority learning and underachievement. A major area of focus lies in low test scored for minorities, especially African Americans. Standardized testing, the way in which students are compared nation-wide and schools are judged on their achievement of teaching fundamental principles, has been researched as having bias. Economic disadvantages tend to correlate with low levels of learning, inadequate school funding, and limited educational opportunities. Every group has its own beliefs, ways of learning, and environmental influences, and these all have to go into consideration when educating the nation’s children. Attitudes towards testing as well as learning have been found to have a major effect on outcomes. Factors of testing anxiety, readiness, and relevancy influence test results. Students who have been fully prepared academically and made aware of the importance of testing have been viewed as successful. On the other hand, students who are disadvantaged socially and educationally and are not mindful of the importance of testing tend to do poorly. The Louisiana Educational Assessment Program, or LEAP, is the state’ s standard way of assessing student competence and getting them prepared to compete nationally. As a student teacher in the Louisiana school system, I definitely see first-hand the correlation of attitudes and how they affect class achievement. The focus of the research was to see the attitudes of the fourth graders who participated in LEAP testing relative to recent data on scoring. I chose to survey two classes of fourth graders at an East Baton Rouge Parish school, Mayfair Elementary, to determine their level of anxiety, content knowledge, and importance of testing were. The results of the survey showed the importance of attitudes for minority children to be successful in testing and hopefully to overcome other factors related to testing proficiency.