Date of Award

Spring 5-16-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Barbara Hill

Second Advisor

Dr. Trevor Turner

Third Advisor

Dr. Sheila Gregory

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the factors that may affect teacher and parent perception of the academic achievement of eighth grade African- American male students. The independent variables were socioeconomic status, family structure, perceived self-esteem, peer affiliations, extracurricular activities, and student behavior. The dependent variable was student achievement. The qualitative case study method was specifically selected for this study to examine the similarities and differences of two groups of African-American male students. This study collected data and offered strategies and recommendations for school and district-level leadership to identify and better support African-American male students.

The study took place at an all-male charter school for boys in grades 6 through 11. This urban charter school is located in the southeastern region of the United States in a major metropolitan area. There were 20 participants involved in this study. While studying the participants, the researcher interviewed parents and teachers, conducted observations, and analyzed students’ report cards. The data collected were triangulated through interviews, observations, and document analysis. The limitations of this study included the number of people involved in the study, school setting, and age constraints of the students studied.

The findings of this study revealed that socioeconomic status, the level of parental engagement, peer affiliations, and student behavior had an impact on student academic achievement. The highlight of this study showed the influence parental involvement had on student achievement. Parents who were heavily involved and engaged in their son’s education performed well in school. Conversely, students whose parents were not involved and/or showed very little interest in their son’s education experienced some challenges in their academics and had low academic achievement.

Recommendations for educational leaders and suggestions for further research are included in the study.

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