Defense Date

2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Whitney Newcomb

Abstract

Student achievement gaps between Black and White students, and socioeconomically disadvantaged and advantaged students, have been observed and formally documented since the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) began in the 1970s. In particular, the mathematics achievement gap between these historically disadvantaged populations has been a phenomenon that, in spite of improvements, has nevertheless remained persistent for decades. This study sought to identify and derive additional information about the mathematics achievement gap between Black students and White students, and socioeconomically disadvantaged and advantaged students, by elementary and middle school level in a Virginia school district over three consecutive school years. Overall student performance on the Virginia Mathematics Standards of Learning (SOL) assessment was examined and achievement gaps were reported. In addition to overall mathematics achievement, this study also sought to detect specific mathematic conceptual areas in which Black and White students, and socioeconomically disadvantaged and advantaged students, were significantly disparate. Factorial Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) and Factorial Multivariate Analysis of Covariance (MANCOVA) were used to identify statistically significant differences between the subgroups in assessment scores reflecting overall mathematics achievement, and student achievement in five conceptual “content strands.” Interactions between student race, socioeconomic status, and school level were also examined. Effect sizes were calculated to indicate any practical significance corresponding to statistical significance noted. For overall mathematics performance, results indicated the continued presence of an achievement gap between Black and White students, and socioeconomically disadvantaged and advantaged students, for each year examined. Interaction was noted between race and socioeconomic status, and race and school level. For mathematics performance along the content strands, results indicated the presence of an achievement gap between Black and White students, and socioeconomically disadvantaged and advantaged students, in every conceptual area for each year analyzed. Interaction was indicated between race and socioeconomic status in all but one content strand during one school year. Consistent interaction was also observed between race and school level in two content strands. No significant effect size was indicated for overall or strand-based mathematics achievement differences, demonstrating limited practical significance. Implications for practice, limitations, and suggestions for future research are discussed.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2013

Share

COinS