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Character Issues and the Free/Reduced Lunch Program

Serious problems in the Arkansas public education system were documented through quantitative studies, national standards test comparisons, and professional assessment reports (Melvenon and Thorn 2001). Test scores were below national standards, incidences of conduct referrals were high, remediation rates for college freshmen reached 57% in 2003, and college drop-outs rose to over 70% the same year. State educators encouraged character education in Arkansas schools and five schools received grants for character education implementation in the 2000-2001 school year (www.aredu.gov).

Character education data, math and literacy scores, and free/reduced lunch percentages were used for comparison in this paper.