Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Black-White Achievement Gap through the Lens of Central Office Administrators
by Baskin, Roger S., Sr., Ph.D., George Mason University, 2013, 202; 3606389
Abstract (Summary)

This study investigated the perceptions of Black and White central office administrators regarding the Black-White achievement gap. Four research questions (RQ) were explored: RQ1: How docentral office administrators understand the causes of the Black-White achievement gap? RQ2: How do central office administrators perceive their role in impacting the Black-White achievement gap? RQ3: How docentral office administrators address Black-White achievement gaps in their districts? RQ4: How do perceptions about achievement gaps and agency vary between Black and White central office administrators? Data for this qualitative study were gathered in 15 interviews with current and former central office administrators from seven districts in the Middle Atlantic region. Eight of those interviewed were White and seven were Black. Relationships between teachers and students were viewed as a major factor in the creation of achievement gaps. Raising the issue of gaps and providing professional development to educators are two major ways central office administrators viewed their role. Teachers and their inability to develop positive relationships with students were identified by participants in the study as a major obstacle in closing achievement gaps. Administrators used a multifaceted approach to addressing achievement gaps including working directly with students, parents, educators (through professional development), and changing the structure of the school day to provide intervention. A major distinction between Black and White administrators in the study had to do with the perceived obstacle of alienation. Five of the seven Black administrators expressed some sense of alienation due either to job title (typically those who work in offices of diversity or equity) or race.

Keywords: achievement gap, central office administrator, social capital, deficit thinking,color-blindness, White privilege, and identity.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Smith, Robert G.
Commitee: Maxwell, Joseph, Wong, Shelley
School: George Mason University
Department: Education Leadership
School Location: United States -- Virginia
Source: DAI-A 75/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, School administration, Education
Keywords: Achievement gap, Black-white perceptions, Central office administrators, School system leaders, White privilege
Publication Number: 3606389
ISBN: 9781303635175
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