The achievement gap in formal schooling between African American children and other groups is stark. This has proven consistent over time (Coleman, et al, 1966), across jurisdictions (Clotfelter, Ladd & Vigdor, 2009; Bailey & Dziko, 2008), and throughout the K-12 system (The National Center for Education Statistics, 2014). Improving these issues is an obvious direction forward. Yet, the obstacles are numerous and multifaceted (Sanacore, 2004). Relative to the public domain, the school system is often targeted for a lack of understanding in relation to educating young African Americans of low socio-economic status. The curriculum is long been criticized for being de-contextualized to African Americans (Boykin, 1983; Allen & Boykin, 1991; Boykin, Tyler & Miller, 2005), no child left behind has negatively targeted predominantly black schools (Clotfelter, Ladd & Vigdor, 2009], and the local tax dollars that support schools are proportional to income. As such, the allocation of resources to schools located in impoverished neighborhoods is comparatively limited.
Amidst these issues, research has shown that one of the strongest predictors of student success is teaching quality with influence being the most important during middle school years, an important factor that has negatively affected minority groups in the US (Peske & Haycock, 2006). In grades six through eight, a child’s preference for reading, writing, arithmetic or other subjects begins to take shape (Gutman & Midgley, 2000). Teachers are guided to aid students in ensuring that ability keeps up in those subjects of less interest, and to drive interest in those subjects of high interest. The middle school years are also particularly important in regards to ensuring that students have acquired the essential skills of reading and writing. At this stage, special education programs are particularly utilized to augment students’ skills in these areas (Bailey & Dziko, 2008).
Situating an ethos of quality teaching into under-performing schools has showed some success (Ladson-Billings, 2009), but those who embrace quality teaching are often concentrated in so-called good schools. Collegiality, resources, and safety are all understandably reasonable reasons to make choices about which school one works. Other research has shown that teachers who identify with students’ racial background is another predictor of success. A mismatch, particularly between black students and white teachers has a tendency to cause misinterpretations (Carter, Hawkins & Natesan, 2008).
The assumption, however, is that there is a finite pool of teachers, and that poor teaching cannot be improved. There are other studies that suggest that subconscious behavior of teachers seems to pigeon-hole certain students based on pre-conceived notions of ability. This is not necessarily tied to race. It may be linked to other social attributes such as behavior or reputation in the school. Poor performance in earlier grades may suggest to new teachers at the start of the new term that a particular student has low competence, ability, and so on. Evidence, however, is lacking in this regard.
Since African American students with low socio-economic status disproportionately underperform academically, it is worth exploring if there is a link that connects teachers’ expectations with the academic achievement of these students. In particular, it will be of value to ascertain how teachers who identify as black or as white, compare in regards to their expectations of African American students with low socio-economic status. If certain factors can be determined that affect how teachers perceive students’ abilities, then this can be identified in in-service, or pre-service training. Evidence could be utilized to raise awareness among teachers, or those in pre-service programs, and develop strategies to overcome bias or misconception. This could potentially translate into improving classroom culture and ultimately narrow the achievement gap between African American children of low socio-economic status and other groups of children.
Academic Achievement among African American Middle School Children
Over time, studies have consistently shown African Americans to underperform on tests of reading, writing and mathematics (The National Center for Education Statistics, 2014). As testing has been overhauled, refined, and adapted to be more culturally inclusive, some improvement has been observed (Miller, 1995; Haycock, 2001).
A study by Clotfelter, Ladd, & Vigdor (2009) looked at achievement scores between whites and three other racial groups in the State of North Carolina. The basis for comparison was on an annual test given to students in grades 3 through 8 to measure proficiency in reading, writing and mathematics. Telling findings were between black and white groups in mathematics and reading scores. On both scores, black students performed approximately one half standard deviation below white students. In terms of differentiating results to other large scale research on the topic, the authors also note a unique finding located at the margins of test scores; that is those who perform very poorly within the group, and those who perform very well within the group. There is a noticeable gap between white and black students that grows in performing well in math as students age. In other words, for high achievers in math among white students and black students, there is a wide gap in the level of achievement.
Within this population, data has also shown discrepancies between groups. A study in the State of Washington aimed to understand the achievement gap among its roughly 57,000 African American students. Like North Carolina (and most states, in fact), Washington administers a state-wide achievement test. Entitled, Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) (Bailey & Dziko, 2008), it is administered annually to grades 4, 7 and 10, and measures skills in reading and math.
The study in 2008 revealed that in grades 4, 7, and 10 African American females outperformed males in reading and in grades 4 and 7, outperformed males in reading (See Table 1.1 below).
Gender Gap Among African American Students: Meeting Minimum Standards of the WASL
(Bailey & Dziko, 2008, p.16)
The data reveals three noteworthy findings. First, as noted, females outperform males
in reading at all three grade levels. In regards to math, females are outperformed by males only marginally in grade 10. Second, across both groups, the rates of those passing the WASL trend downwards in later years (only the reading score improves for males between grade 7 and grade 10). The largest drop for both groups occurs in math scores between grade 7 and grade 10. The third and most important finding is the exceptionally low math scores by both groups. Less than 60% of African American females or males earns a passing grade in the WASL across all three grades. Less than half of African American females or males pass the WASL in grade 10. The implications to this data suggest there is a significant missed opportunity in middle school (if not earlier) to augment African American students’ abilities in mathematics. It is also noteworthy that there is another significant drop among both groups in reading between grades 4 and 7.
This section revealed several notable results to consider in the design of the research for this investigation relative to teachers’ expectations of African American middle school students. First is the achievement gap between genders. Why do females outperform males in reading and mathematics? And why do reading scores dip significantly between grades 4 and 7 and mathematics scores dip significantly between grades 7 and 10? Further, why is there a gap in achievement among relative high achievers in mathematics between black and white students? Could this be a matter of expectations between groups?
Drafting questions that are informed from these studies may prove useful for the current investigation.
Factors that detract and Strategies to improve Academic Achievement
The question is simple – Why Aren't Low-Income Students Succeeding in School? Based
on the mounting evidence that African Americans in particular are underachieving, Carter (2013, Mar. 19) points to three broad factors that contribute to low income students having low math and reading skills. For teachers, it is important that awareness of these factors. As a means of reversal, developing strategies to improve on these factors may have an impact on narrowing the achievement gap that exists between African American students and other groupings of students.
First is the absence of books. Carter notes that in low income neighborhoods there is one book per 300 students, as compared to middle income neighborhoods where the ratio is 13 books per student. The books are obviously symbolic. The bigger picture is that those who come from lower-income neighborhoods are subject to hearing millions of fewer words by the age of four compared to their higher-income counterparts. Second is stability. Children living in single-family homes are three times as likely to be impoverished compared to married couples with children. Consequently, single parent families also are less likely to have insurance, and consequently have a greater propensity to encounter health problems. Third, there is a lack of role models in low income families. Not surprisingly, low income families are characterized by low levels of educational attainment. Few hold high school or college diplomas. For young African American students as well, Carter notes that only two percent of teachers in the US are African American males.
Of course, there are more than socio-economic factors at play. Studies have shown the importance of particular African American characteristics that are linked to success in schools. Boykin, a noted psychologist has identified a concept called Black Cultural Ethos (Boykin, 1986, 1994). It is comprised of nine dimensions as follows: spirituality, affect, harmony, orality, social perspective of time, expressive individualism, verve, and communalism. The literature on this topic is extensive, with studies testing various dimensions on the science achievement of African American middle school students (Parsons, 2008; Parsons, Travis & Simpson, 2005), music education among primary school students (Boykin & Allen, 1998), and other studies. For the sake of space, we will focus on one study that explored the relevance of verve.
Carter, Hawkings and Natesan (2008) conducted a study to explore the concept of verve among African American students in an urban middle school relative to achievement in mathematics and reading. They define verve as a form of expression that is characteristic of African Americans and is described as possessing high energy, enthusiasm and even stylistic body language. Its origins, according to renowned psychology professor Alfred Boykin who studies the topic, has its origins in west Africa (Boykin, 1983). Boykin posits that the curriculum in schools does not account for this learning behavior, and instead is more conducive to a European American orientation. Consequently students with high verve tend to be perceived as distracted, off-task and undisciplined. In their study the authors used a validated questionnaire to measure verve entitled, the Child Activity Questionnaire. The findings revealed that verve scores were higher among African American students compared to white students and that African American females had higher scores of verve compared to African American males. In regards to academic achievement, students with high verve scored lower on reading, and mathematics in particular. These discipline-based results were not significant, however, and the authors suggest that further studies are necessary to ascertain the relevance of their findings.
In regards to pedagogy, the authors conclude that the presence of high verve among African American students compared to non-African American students is an important distinction. For far too long, African American students have been portrayed as hyperactive and undisciplined. The authors call for greater attention to culturally relevant teaching, with evidence shown of the positive correlation of such teacher training with improved achievement among African American students.
A third area to explore in relation to factors that have shown to impact academic achievement among African American middle school children is the link between family and school connections. In the context of the current study relative to teacher expectations, this is another important area for consideration in research design. A study by Gutman & Midgley, (2000) looked at 62 impoverished African American families located in southeastern Michigan. Over 900 students were surveyed as part of this longitudinal study. Among the factors that were identified that impact the academic achievement of African American middle school students, they found a link between the nature of the transition from primary to middle school and relationship between the home and school contexts as important factors. In regards to the former, they found that as contact lessens between teachers and students in later grades, that students who have not performed well in earlier grades are negatively impacted – their grade point averages declined. Within this group however, it was found that those with above average grade point averages factors of strong parental involvement positively correlated with a strong sense of perceived teacher support and with a positive sense of school belonging. Relative to this particular study, focusing on teacher support and parental involvement – such as the relationship between parent and teacher, is another area to consider in the study design.
In this section several important areas have been identified. First socio-economic factors were identified that have shown to impact students’ academic achievement. In bridging this information from Carter (2013) with Gutman & Midgley (2000) we find that there may be a link in the context of parental involvement in the school setting. In the latter investigation, parents of impoverished families who participated in the involvement of the life of the school proved to have children that performed better in the transition to middle school. Other important factors to consider are the dimensions within the construct of Black Cultural Ethos. The review identified in particular the relevance of verve to students’ academic achievement. A strategy of including more training around culturally relevant teaching may prove beneficial to strengthening understanding between teacher and African American student.
In the final section of this literature review, we will focus on the impact of race between teacher and student. This will narrow in on the aim of this research as it relates to exploring teachers’ expectations of academic achievement of African American middle school students from lower socio-economic status.
Narrowing in on a definition is not the intent of this section. Before we can begin, we can draw from the previous sections and arrive at the conclusion that teaching quality is highly contextual. In a predominantly African American school, for example, teaching quality may be best determined by how well the teacher is attuned, or responds to the cultural dynamic of the student population. In a private school that caters predominantly to upper class students, the rate at which students are accepted to Ivey League schools may be linked to teaching quality.
As such it can be gleaned that quality teaching is hard to define. Since it is highly contextual, it is important to narrow in on literature that addresses the particular topic under investigation. In this case we will explore teaching expectations of students and how this relates to teaching quality. We will draw on sources that are general and sources that focus particularly on African American students. First, it is important to keep in mind in this paper and the study to follow recognize that quality teaching and quality teachers are often conflated. The former is less about identity, and more about ability. The latter carries more of a fixed connotation – you are either a quality teacher, or you are not. Preference is given to quality teaching. It is fluid, and teachers would certainly identify that a lesson may not always go according to plan and little can be done, but to slog through. Refinement and reflection are central to quality teaching, and no matter what stage or status, it should be a central objective that quality teaching is an attribute to pursue and that satisfaction is distilled from knowing that it can never been completely attained.
Bridging the information summarized from the previous section, it is clear that among the range of interventions, the role of the teacher has been highly important. This ranges to include training, cultural background, attitude and resources. It is important to understand, if not accept that the findings in relation to quality teaching are not fixed. Changing behavior, or augmenting skills are hallmarks of any profession. That is, as a profession advances, attitudes shift to adjust to societal, economic or cultural changes. In line with this is skill development. For teachers, workshops are an integral part of the school year. Further, more and more teachers are branching out to advance their pedagogical knowledge through additional qualification courses and graduate studies.
We have narrowed in on an important aspect of teaching quality. Centred on attitudes to students, the notion that teachers’ expectations of students are impactful is central to this study.
In relation to white teachers’ perceptions of black students, the literature has found expected outcomes – white teachers generally have lower expectations of African American students compared to other racial groups. Tenenbaum & Ruck (2007) summarized findings from four meta-quantitative studies. In addition to the general finding regarding white teachers comparatively lower expectations of African American students, they identified more detailed findings. Teachers tended to direct more positive or neutral speech (e.g., encouragement) towards white students when compared to Latino or African American students. Negative speech was directed equally to all groups of students with no differences observed. Their conclusions were that teachers tend to demonstrate preference and higher expectations to white students as compared to African American, Latino students. Little interpretation around the origins of bias were discussed.
A study of African American high school students’ achievement gap pointed to attitudinal issues on the part of students for the achievement gap (Bacon, Totten, Bridges & Jennings, 2010). The data was collected from focus groups with 50 teachers and administrators and from ethnographic observations at a predominantly black high school in the mid-Atlantic region of the US. The authors offer predictable measures that are at an institutional and societal level – “The United States is going to have to decide that the problems facing African American males are worth solving (p.324),” is the most promising solution offered. Nevertheless, the study aims to shed more light on the topic that African American males seem to be at the bottom of the rung in concern of all students in studies looking at race and achievement.
A study most aligned to the current investigation explored if teachers’ expectations have an impact on the achievement outcomes of African American students. The aim of the study was to explore in particular, how teachers’ expectations are linked to outcomes. Instead of focusing on teachers as participants, as the current investigation intends, the study included student participants – 262 middle school students located in a school (randomly selected) in the southeastern US. The ESA-Related Teacher Practices subscale and the Student Engagement scale was used. Four variables were measured: academic efficacy, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive. Results revealed that students found all four variables were significantly influenced by teachers’ expectations. Further, the results indicated that teachers’ expectations were above average at this particular school. No gender differences were found. The conclusions point to the growing trend of a link between teacher expectations and academic achievement.
Another take to garner a sense of teachers’ expectations on achievement was researched from the perspective of the student. The group was limited to African American primary school students, although the researchers acknowledged similarities in African American middle schools students’ descriptions of good teaching. The findings revealed that the students were able to identify strengths and deficiencies in their teachers. It also revealed a preference by African American students for teachers who demonstrated caring, were fair, treated them with respect, and helped them learn, qualities the researchers assert, that aligns to consensus on effective teaching. They conclude that these African American students demonstrate a strong desire to learn and attitudinal issues of African American students is unfounded. Instead, research should focus on the importance of quality teaching and positive school environments.
The previous literature examined focused on low achievement among African American students in middle schools, interventions to reverse these trends, the role of quality teachers in student academic achievement, and the particular aspect of teachers’ expectations relative to individual students. We may now explore how these factors are related to race. Studies have mainly explored the perceptions of teachers on students of different racial backgrounds. Most common is a comparison between perceptions of white and black students.
Literature Review Summary
The aim of this literature review was to select and summarize literature that can inform understanding on the topic of expectations of African American middle school students from lower socio-economic status. Couched in this topic is the reality that African American middle school students routinely underperform academically compared to other groups. This is particularly acute among subsections of this population in relation to males as compared to females. Performance on the subjects of math were particularly low. As the presentation of literature progressed we narrowed in on differences among expectations. A range of factors were identified and include cognitive, behavioral, affective and academic efficacy.
In moving to the next section, the research questions are identified and a proposed methodology to carry out the research is proposed.
Proposed Issues/Research Question
This investigation seeks to compare the expectations of white and black teachers relative to the academic achievement of African American middle school students. Central to this investigation is the following two research question:
Are black teachers more sympathetic and in possession of better cultural attributes than white teachers to support African American middle school students?
Compared to white teachers, do black teachers demonstrate more positive expectations of African American middle school students relative to academic achievement?
The hypothesis is that black teachers are more sympathetic and have better cultural attributes to support African American middle school children. As such, this paper also hypothesizes that black teachers also have more positive expectations of African American middle school students relative to academic achievement.
The study will employ a quantitative method using a questionnaire. The purpose for using a quantitative study is to garner a measurable understanding of the phenomenon being investigated. This positivist approach is grounded in the ideas of using experimentation to garner evidence around decision-making and ultimately to enhance understanding of the natural environment (Holmes, 1981, p. 59), which in this case is to pinpoint teacher attributes that may improve academic achievement among African American middle school students.
In educational research, there are extensive debates around using quantitative research to make generalizations about formal education, with the aim to inform policy decision making (Lockheed & Bloch, 1990; Psacharopoulis & Patrinos, 2004). The preferred method of qualitative research limits educational planners from drawing any comparative lessons worth implementing. Psacharopoulis, notes that comparative lessons are achievable only through, “conceptualization, methodological design, statistical sampling, rigorous data analysis, and hypothesis testing” (1990: p. 380).
Participants for the investigation will include black and white teachers who teach in predominantly urban schools in the city of XXXX. These schools are characterized as being in predominantly black neighborhoods. The majority of students are of low socio-economic status. The teacher participants will complete an online questionnaire.
Description of Teacher Participants
Design and Data Collection
Within the quantitative framework a development design is used (Caracelli & Greene, 1993: p. 196) whereby the results of one method inform subsequent methods. For this study, analyses of textual sources, drawn from the literature review, will inform the design of the online questionnaire research instrument.
The online questionnaire will be comprised of Likert questions and measured on a five point scale. Both populations will be selected through nonprobability sampling, such that each sample is selected from targeted populations, which in this case will be black and white teachers working in school settings with African American middle school students with low socio-economic status. The questionnaire instrument will be divided into three parts:
- Background information: General
- Perception of students regarding academic achievement
- Expectations of students regarding academic achievement
Questionnaire design will be scrutinized for content by supervisor and administrators and teachers located at schools within the school district. A pilot study will be conducted among a smaller sample of white and black teachers. Responses will be checked for consistency and comments. Based on the results, modifications will be made to the questionnaire instrument.
The questionnaire will be hosted on SurveyMonkey and participants will be contacted by email.
Data analysis of the quantitative results will be subject to descriptive and inferential statistics. For Part A: Background information: General, descriptive statistics using distribution, central tendency (e.g., mean score, mode) and dispersion (e.g., standard deviation) will be used. For Part B: Perceptions of Students Part C: Expectations of Students, univariate analysis and inferential statistics will be used.
Within each Part there were a series of questions referred to herein as domains. Each domain will contain several items. In all domains of Parts B and C total scores will be tallied and the reliability of each item in relation to the particular domain will be measured using Cronbach’s alpha. Each domain will be analyzed by the black teacher and white teacher samples, separately. If Cronbach’s alpha in both samples for a particular domain is .70 or greater the total scores will be used in the inferential statistics to compare differences between samples. If Cronbach’s alpha is below .70 for a particular domain in one or both samples, individual items will be subsequently analyzed using inferential statistics and compared between samples.
The appropriate inferential test will be used as defined by the properties of the variables (or items). If a domain from each sample has strong reliability (see above), and is normally distributed, a parametric t-test will be used. To assess differences in a domain with low reliability in one or both samples, individual items of the particular domain will be analyzed using non parametric chi-square or Mann-Whitney U tests. To assess differences between dependent items in a particular domain belonging to the same sample the non-parametric Wilcoxon’s matched pairs test or one-way ANOVA tests will be used. In summary, multiple tests will be used based on the properties of the data. The over-arching objective is to infer if and to what extent there is a degree of difference, as defined by a probability of .05 or greater, between and within the samples of black teachers and white teachers. To address family-wise error rates where multiple comparisons are made, the Bonferroni correction will be employed.
Excel will be used to clean the data and all calculations will be performed in SPSS (version 22).
There are two groupings of ethical considerations that the author will address: researcher integrity and participant safety and effort to protect anonymity.
The questions posed in this study and the subsequent research hold tremendous value to the teaching profession. More importantly, there is value in addressing the problem of low academic achievement among the most marginalized groups in the US: Young African American children. Preparing these individuals to lead productive lives is a shared responsibility between family and society. Among the most important institutions in the latter is the school setting. It is unequivocal that the life chances of individuals increases dramatically with the level of education attained. In today’s world the entry ticket to success and stability is a college diploma. The skills required to succeed are ingrained in individuals as early as primary school and solidified in middle school. As such, there is also great responsibility in carrying out this research with integrity and hard work.
There are few other places in the industrialized world where race is more of a sensitive topic than the United States. It is politically charged, historically situated, and has a tendency to play out on newscasts with uncomfortable regularity. The hypothesis posed that black teachers have higher or fairer expectations than white teachers of African American middle school students is highly sensitive. As such, it is imperative that prospective participants are well aware of the nature of the study and the question of anonymity before giving consent. Measures will be taken, such as blind or third party selection of participants to ensure that anonymity is not compromised. Further it may be necessary to acquire consent of high school principals or superintendents before reaching out to prospective participants.
In regards to the study design the researcher is also aware of the importance of wording of questions. Although a pilot study will be performed, independent researchers will also review the questions prior to any release to participants.
As a first step, the researcher will endeavor to seek ethical approval from his/her academic institution.
Although it is challenging to predict the limitations of this study, there are a few that can be determined at this stage. First is the validity and reliability of the instrument that will be designed. Validity is determined by measuring what it is intended to measure. In the case of this study, that is teachers’ expectations in regards to students’ academic achievement. How well this instrument will measure expectations will be determined by a pilot study rather than a full-scale clinical trial. While every effort will be made to ensure the validity of the research instrument, this cannot be guaranteed.
In regards to reliability, the instrument to be utilized is novel. Since reliability aims to ascertain the value of an instrument based on results over time and across studies, a limitation to this study, is that reliability cannot be achieved.
Finally, the expected sample size in this investigation will be relatively small. Further, the sample will be purposeful, or non-probability sampling. As such the findings in this investigation will be illustrative only, and not generalizable to the wider population.
This paper began with an introduction of the problem regarding low achievement among African American middle school students. The premise behind this problem is endemic: African American students consistently underperform in academic achievement compared to other groups. Factors within this subgroup, such as low socio-economic status, exacerbate, or widen the gap in achievement. At the heart of this study is to discern if the factor of teachers’ expectations of African American middle school students reveals any bias between white and black teachers. The question that will guide this investigation is as follows:
Are black teachers more sympathetic and in possession of better cultural attributes than white teachers to support African American middle school students?
Compared to white teachers, do black teachers demonstrate more positive expectations of African American middle school students relative to academic achievement?
This research will make a significant contribution to the growing body of literature on the African American achievement gap in formal schooling. Ideally this will lead to better diagnosis of issues that can be imparted within schools and pre-service teaching programs.
Allen, B. A., & Boykin, A. W. (1991). The Influence of Contextual Factors on Afro‐American and Euro‐American Children's Performance: Effects of Movement Opportunity and Music. International Journal of Psychology, 26(3), 373-387.
Bailey, M. H. & Dziko, T. M (2008). A Plan to Close the Achievement Gap for African American Students. State of Washington, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Retrieved from: http://www.k12.wa.us/cisl/pubdocs/AfrAmer%20AchGap%20Rpt%20FINAL.pdf
Boykin, A. W. (1983). The academic performance of Afro-American children. In J. Spence (Ed.), Achievement and achievement motives (pp. 324-337). San Francisco: Freeman
Boykin, A. W., Tyler, K. M., & Miller, O. (2005). In search of cultural themes and their expressions in the dynamics of classroom life. Urban Education,40(5), 521-549.
Caracelli, V. J. & Greene, J. C. (1993). Data analysis strategies for mixed-method evaluation designs. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 15(2), 195–207.
Carter, C. J. (2013, Mar. 19). Why Aren't Low-Income Students Succeeding in School? Huffington Post. Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carol-j-carter/why-arent-low-income-stud_b_2909180.html
Carter, N. P., Hawkins, T. N., & Natesan, P. (2008). The relationship between verve and the academic achievement of African American students in reading and mathematics in an urban middle school. Educational Foundations, 22(1), 18.
Clotfelter, C. T., Ladd, H. F., & Vigdor, J. L. (2009). The academic achievement gap in grades 3 to 8. The Review of Economics and Statistics,91(2), 398-419.
Coleman, J. S., Campbell, E. Q., Hobson, C. J., McPartland, J., Mood, A. M., Weinfeld, F. D., & York, R. (1966). Equality of educational opportunity. Washington, dc, 1066-5684.
Gutman, L. M., & Midgley, C. (2000). The role of protective factors in supporting the academic achievement of poor African American students during the middle school transition. Journal of youth and adolescence, 29(2), 223-249.
Haycock, K. (2001). Closing the Achievement Gap. Helping All Students Achieve, 58(6), 6-11. Retrieved from: http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar01/vol58/num06/Closing-the-Achievement-Gap.aspx
Holmes, B. (1981). The positivist debate in comparative education – an Anglo-Saxon perspective. In B. Holmes (Ed.), Comparative education: Some considerations of method (pp. 57–65). London: George Allen and Unwin.
Ladson-Billings, G. (2009). The dreamkeepers: Successful teachers of African American children. John Wiley & Sons.
Lewis, J. L., & Kim, E. (2008). A desire to learn: African American children's positive attitudes toward learning within school cultures of low expectations. Teachers College Record, 110(6), 1304-1329.
Lockheed, M. E. & Bloch, D. (1990). Primary education, A World Bank policy paper. Washington, D. C.: World Bank.
Lynn, M., Bacon, J. N., Totten, T. L., Bridges, T. L., & Jennings, M. E. (2010). Examining teachers' beliefs about African American male students in a low-performing high school in an African American school district. Teachers College Record, 112(1), 289-330.
Miller LS. 1995. An American Imperative: Accelerating Minority Educational Advancement. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press
Parsons, E. C. (2008). Learning contexts, black cultural ethos, and the science achievement of African American students in an urban middle school. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 45(6), 665-683.
Parsons, E. C., Travis, C., & Simpson, J. S. (2005). The Black Cultural Ethos, Students' Instructional Context Preferences, and Student Achievement: An Examination of Culturally Congruent Science Instruction in the Eighth Grade Classes of One African American and One Euro-American Teacher. Negro Educational Review, The, 56, 183-203.
Peske, H. G., & Haycock, K. (2006). Teaching Inequality: How Poor and Minority Students Are Shortchanged on Teacher Quality: A Report and Recommendations by the Education Trust. Education Trust.
Psacharopoulis, G. & Patrinos, H. A. (2004). Returns to investment in education: A further update. Education Economics, 12(2), 111–134.
Psacharopoulis, G. (1990). Comparative education: From theory to practice, or are you A:\neo.* or B:\*ist? Comparative Education Review, 34(3), 369–380.
Sanacore, J. (2004). Genuine caring and literacy learning for African American children. Reading Teacher, 57, 744-770.
The National Center for Education Statistics (2014). The National Assessment of Educational Progress. Retrieved from: http://nces.ed.gov/
Tenenbaum, H. R., & Ruck, M. D. (2007). Are teachers' expectations different for racial minority than for european american students? A meta-analysis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99(2), 253-273.
Tyler, K. M., & Boelter, C. M. (2008). Linking black middle school students' perceptions of teachers' expectations to academic engagement and efficacy. Negro Educational Review, 59(1), 18.