The ultimate performance of the school districts is easily comparable as the standardized testing is already in effect and being measured. The exact cause of better test scores may never be known because it is likely an amalgamation of thousands of factors and influences. RD1 rightly measures the correlation between district-level state NEAP scores against the instatement of an inclusive free lunch program compared to districts that do not. The focus of RD1 is thus clear, resulting in two measurable records that can be compared, ensuring a level of external validity.
If little to no correlation is observed, then one cannot reasonable reject RD1’s H0. If a high degree or a positive type of correlation results, then the creditability of the H1 goes up. Either way, knowledge is gained. RD2 seeks to answer the descriptive question, ‘What is the attitude of middle schoolers towards their school experience when they utilize free school lunches frequently versus infrequently?’ RD2’s questionnaires act as additional data collection points for RD1.
They allow researchers to analyze potential underlying threats to the study due to history bias (current events affecting the children) and identify subgroups of Groups X and Y (Handley et al, 2018). Documentation of these events and factions are beneficial because they contribute to the greater discussion on cause affects for the relationship between school lunches and standardize test scores. Further, cohort studies allow researchers a highly detailed look into the lives of adolescences. Qualifiable data is often considered weak’ against quantifiable data in educational research, but there is value in measuring children’s emotional and mental reactions to situations (De Vaus, 2001).
Research like this study is frequently used to inform policymakers, helping them determine if a program has a positive effect on their constituents (Vignoles et al, 2012; Shadish et al, 2002). Studies conducted in the field’ findings on natural behavior, innate cause and effect are more likely to yield results that are able to be generalizable thus increasing a study’s external validity (Lammers & Badia, Chpt. 6, 2005; Handley et al, 2018). Over the decades, not all public schools in the United States have adopted a free meal program despite the evidence suggesting is it beneficial for all. It is the hope of the researchers this study’s results will suggest an inclusive free lunch program has quantitative and qualitative benefits for all students. Equity, treating students fairly’ based on their individual needs, is not getting the job done. Equality should be the battle cry of this debate. The findings of both RD1 and RD2 allow for a case can be built for the consequences of a lunch program, adding to the literature on cultivating a child’s academic success. This study will not be the drop that overflows the lunch pail, but it will add valid, truthful evidence to the tension.