Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership


Dr. Usenime Akpanudo


The gap in school performance between African American students and students of other subpopulations has shown up in a range of academic success measures including course grades, test scores, course selection, and college graduation rates (Johnston & Viadero 2000); college and high school grade point averages [GPAs] (Banks & Banks, 2004); and dropout rates (Gordon, 1999; Green, 2001; Irvine & Armento, 2001; Jencks & Phillips, 1998; Kober, 2001; Lee, 2002). These indicators all point to a disturbing pattern in the educational system and beg the question: What is going on with the education of African American males in the United States? The purpose of this dissertation was to determine if such an achievement gap existed between African American males and their 11th Grade counterparts in three Northeast Arkansas schools on the Arkansas Augmented Benchmark Examination for grades 3-8 in mathematics and literacy. For this longitudinal study, a causal-comparative, non-experimental strategy was used. Data for this study comprised existing standardized test scores obtained from a stratified random sample of 180 students at three high schools (grades 9 through 12) in three urban school districts in Northeast Arkansas. At each school, the inclusion criterion for students in the sample was their continuous residency within the school district between the grade levels being evaluated. Only students who met this criterion were considered for selection. Mixed factorial ANOVAs were run to test each of the four hypotheses. The results of these analyses indicated that African American males scored significantly and consistently lower than to their classmates of other subpopulations in the study. Thus, each of the four hypotheses was rejected.

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