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Scholastic chess club participation and the academic achievement of Hispanic fifth grade students in south Texas.

Conducted during the 2006-2007 school year, this dissertation evaluated the impact of a weekly after-school chess club intervention on Hispanic students’ performance on the reading and math sections of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS). The author randomly selected 27 treatment students from a pool of chess club students across five different elementary schools in a predominantly Hispanic district in Texas; 27 control group students were selected from the same schools. Treatment students self-selected to participate in the chess club, and control students did not play chess—it is unknown if control students participated in any other after-school activity. Using ANCOVA, the study found an effect size of 1.455 standard deviation units in math and 1.436 standard deviations in reading. The results were statistically significant. The study was eligible for inclusion in the systematic literature review and categorized as a Tier III study. The sampling technique does not qualify as random assignment, because students self-selected to participant in the intervention. If there are systematic differences in student characteristics between the two groups, results may be biased. The study focuses on Hispanic students which limits its generalizability to other student populations.