2013 - September

Creating a School-Based Program for the High Academic Achievement of All Students: All Meets All

By Kaili Baucum


For decades, educators have struggled to find ways to deal with the academic achievement gap between black and white students.  This quest is further exacerbated by the disparate outcomes between middle class black students and their white counterparts.  In addition to being troubling, this threatens the upward mobility of black families.   This research uses Critical Race Theory (CRT) and logic modeling to design a program model to improve minority student achievement in a mixed-race, affluent, suburban
high school.

Arguably, a more nuanced understanding of the ways schools interact with both white and black students will render better designed interventions resulting in more equitable outcomes. As such this research aims to explore the following questions:   (1) what theories are most promising for improving minority student achievement in a mixed, suburban school district? (2) Given these theories, is there a “best practice” model for solving the problem? (3)  What social, educational and community systems
are required to implement this model? (4) What are the possibilities and barriers within the current system for this to occur?  This mixed-method study will track the achievement patterns of an affluent, integrated district’s  black students over the past 10 years.  Interviews with students, teachers, and administrators will be used to (1) identify the opportunities and challenges to implementing a minority student achievement program and (2) better understand the student experience in a mixed-race high school.  This study will contribute to our understanding of the achievement gap in affluent, mixed suburban districts; a phenomenon which has been treated as a subset of the greater achievement gap
discussions though it requires a different approach.  By employing CRT, this research attempts to redirect the achievement gap conversation, offering a more critical lens to address improving minority student achievement.



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