Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Urban schools that have narrowed the achievement gap: Middle school math achievement in an urban setting
by Sagun, Theodore, Ed.D., University of Southern California, 2010, 217; 3403756
Abstract (Summary)

The achievement gap is a persistent academic disparity between White and Asian students and ethnic minorities, English Language Learners, and low-income students. The academic disparity exists within the realm of mathematics. Although many factors are cited for contributing to the achievement gap, this study reviews institutional racism, meager institutional support, and poor mathematics instruction as contributors to poor academic achievement by historically poor or underperforming minority students. This case study is one of nine doctoral dissertations focused on the theme of urban schools that have narrowed the achievement gap with a focus on middle school algebra achievement. This study focused on an urban school that experienced sustained academic achievement in garnering at least 2 years of rising scores on the Academic Performance Index and the California Standardized Test (CST) as well as 3 consecutive years of at least 80% proficiency on the Algebra 1 CST. The author cites leadership, a collaborative community, data-driven culture, and instruction focused on conceptual understanding of standards to enhance student learning, especially in Algebra 1. This research raises questions regarding the value of curricular autonomy as opposed to a strong attachment to published curricula related to teaching subjects such as algebra.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gothold, Stuart E.
Commitee: Hocevar, Dennis, Marsh, David
School: University of Southern California
Department: Education(Leadership)
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 71/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mathematics education, Secondary education, Curriculum development
Keywords: Achievement gap, Algebra, Mathematics, Urban schools
Publication Number: 3403756
ISBN: 978-1-109-77478-8
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