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Perceptions of black male students and their parents about the academic achievement gap between black and white students at the elementary school level

by Williams, Gloria J.

Abstract (Summary)
The primary purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of African-American students and their parents about the academic achievement gap between African-American students and their White counterparts at the elementary school level in urban school districts. The study was also aimed at determining the extent to which socioeconomic factors contribute to the achievement gap between African-American and White students. A survey of African-American students and their parents was conducted to collect data for the study. The data were analyzed using quantitative and qualitative procedures to provide answers to the research questions and to test the research hypotheses. Consistent with the related literature, the findings indicate that the existing achievement gap between African-American and White students is primarily impacted by a number of socioeconomic factors including single-parent family structure, lack of equal educational opportunities, lack of appropriate self-esteem and/or necessary self-confidence among African-American children, peer pressure, and little participation of African-American parents in their children's educational accomplishment due to financial restraints, job-related obligations, and other family commitments. Conclusions derived from examining the research questions and hypotheses are summarized as follows: (a)� as a result of low family socioeconomic status, a majority of the African-American children have the disadvantage of not being able to enjoy the quality education they deserve; (b)� younger parents of low socioeconomic status are more likely to show dissatisfaction with the quality of education provided their children as compared to older parents with higher income status; (c)� the more educated African-American parents are, the more likely they show commitment to their children's academic achievement; (d)� the older African-American parents are, the more likely they value the relationship with school concerning their children's academic achievement; (e)� fifth graders are doing best in science and writing, while third graders are doing best in reading; (f)� while both third grade and fifth grade children agreed that teachers do not show favoritism toward African-American or White students, fifth graders showed a relatively higher degree of agreement; and (g)� while both third grade and fifth grade children disagreed that even when they work hard, they receive poor grades, fifth graders showed a relatively higher degree of disagreement. The study was concluded with several suggestions for future research as well as a number of recommendations to school boards, to educational policy makers, to school administrators, to school teachers, and to the African-American community.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:University of Massachusetts Amherst

School Location:USA - Massachusetts

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2002

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