The No Child Left Behind Act has the stated purpose to ensure all children have equal access to high-quality education and reach minimum proficiency on state academic achievement standards and assessments. A disparity in the academic achievement between Blacks and Latinos and their White counterparts. The problem this study addresses is the lack of Black and Latino student perspective concerning challenges they face around the academic achievement gap and the goals they set to face those challenges. The purpose of this qualitative narrative inquiry study was to elicit from Black and Latino students their perspective on the academic achievement gap, the challenges they face, and the goals they employ to face those challenges in the hope of closing this gap. Data was collected from six 12th grade Black and Latino students between 18 and 20 years old, in a central Florida urban community using semi-structured face-to-face and focus group interviews, and archived data. The Dimensions of Excellence Scales Student Survey Instrument was used to define and refine interview questions. Thirty-five pages of interview transcripts produced 42 stories, which were coded to saturation, revealing eight themes. Five of these themes (family support, educational support, white privilege, safety, and disenfranchisement) helped inform research Q1. To inform research Q2, three themes (goal setting, student-centered strategies, and sense of family) were used. Finally, three themes (educational support, white privilege, and disenfranchisement) were used to inform research Q3. Findings from this study suggest the participants share common perceived challenges to a successful educational experience (parental and educational support, white privilege, disenfranchisement, safety) as well as strategies to reach their goals (goal-setting, student-centered strategies). Additionally, it is suggested that participants are aware of the academic achievement gap and have opinions on how to help close it. Future research should focus on whether these perceptions exist in other demographics and geographical locations.
|Commitee:||Fore, Jerome, Piferi, Rachel|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||School administration, Educational psychology|
|Keywords:||Academic achievememt gap, No child left behind, Student perspective|
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