Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

School Name

Annsley Frazier Thornton School of Education



Major Advisor

Grant Smith, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

David Paige, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

William Wells, Ed.D.


This study examines the impact of a public policy intervention, called Family Resource and Youth Service Centers (FRYSC), on student achievement in Kentucky. The author provides a quantitative evaluation of FRYSC, supplementing a void in prior research on FRYSC effectiveness. FRYSC-eligible schools (n = 1263) included in this study had no center, an elementary center, a middle or high school center, or a combined center. The researcher analyzed data obtained from government databases reporting school-level statewide assessment results. Student achievement metrics reflect reading and mathematics proficiency outcomes for at-risk students, whom are typically served by a FRYSC. For reading and mathematics multi-level models show observed variability throughout the FRYSC structure. Level one represents the type of center (ICC = .32 for reading and .33 for mathematics). Level two represents the county where the FRYSC is located (ICC = .46 for reading and .41 for mathematics). Level three represents the state-designed FRYSC regions (ICC = .22 for reading and .27 for mathematics). The county level show the largest effect when understanding the impact of FRYSC on student achievement and implies leadership at this level drives effectiveness. This study also calculates cost ratios to measure the cost of FRYSC per achievement outcome. At each level reading costs less per outcome than mathematics, however, achievement is not correlated with the funding centers receive. Implications of this finding suggest identifying cost-effective models to maximize outcomes while considering state-funded allocations for centers.