Date of Award


Document Type

USM Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy


Muskie School of Public Service

First Advisor

David Silvernail

Second Advisor

Lisa Morris

Third Advisor

Catherine Fallona


Children in poverty, income achievement gap, reading proficiency, mathematics proficiency


The purpose of this ex facto quantitative study using descriptive and inferential analysis was to identify and examine characteristics of students living in persistent poverty in relation to their academic performance on standardized assessments. This study extends existing research by focusing on a cohort of students living in persistent poverty and analyzing information from various geographic locales, including rural schools. Using data from the Maine Department of Education and the National Center for Education Statistics, this study examined a sample of 3,202 students during grades three through eight from more than one hundred public schools in Maine.


This dissertation is restricted to USM access only.