Closing the reading achievement gap between African American students and their peers at a suburban middle school: The impact of school improvement plans.
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- Achievement gap; african american students; school improvement plans
thesis / dissertation description
The goal of this Dissertation in Practice was to design a School Improvement Plan focused on improving reading performance of African American students at Suburban Middle School (SMS). The problem of practice was that African American students at Suburban Middle School have performed significantly lower than their White peers over the course of the 2009-2013 school years in reading performance. The reading deficiencies of African American students needed to be directly addressed in a new School Improvement Plan (SIP). The literature review of this study found that there are many different components that influence the reading performance of African American students. For this Dissertation in Practice, a new School Improvement Plan focused primarily on 6 different areas will be the end result. The components that will be examined are: 1) school climate, 2) utilization of data, 3) parental involvement, 4) professional development, 5) instructional strategies, and 6) collaboration. While these are the 6 key elements of successful models, there were also additional sub groupings within each element that also had an influence on student achievement levels. In addition to examining previous School Improvement Plans at SMS, the end result and final deliverable was a School Improvement Plan designed to close the existing achievement gap in reading between African American students and their peers at SMS. Suggested use for the new model of the School Improvement Plan was to focus specifically on the 6 key elements to address the reading performance of African American students.