Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)


School of Education

Degree Name



Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Trevor Turner

Second Advisor

Dr. Noran Moffett

Third Advisor

Dr. Edward Williams


The purpose of this study is to examine the extent to which student achievement in mathematics is impacted by early language deficiencies and other variables and if it can be improved when controlling these variables. Student achievement in the area of mathematics was identified as an area of problem at Urban Academy Elementary school and the greater Urban Public Schools District (UPS). The researcher wanted to explore specific strategies that could lead to improved student performance in the area of mathematics. The researcher proposed that the possible causal factors that yield an outcome of low student achievement in math were prior language development, socioeconomic status, leadership, teacher methodology, student efficacy/engagement. professional development, and parental involvement The researcher used instrumentation methods to gather information from parents. teachers and students in order to examine if there was a relationship between student achievement in mathematics and the referenced variables: prior language development. socio economic status, leadership, instructional practices, student efficacy, professional development, and parental involvement. A treatment was developed and implemented during the 2008-2009 school year (see Appendix A) based on the perceived impacting variables. The 2009 Criterion Referenced Competency Test was used as a posttest to determine if the treatment had a significant impact on student achievement. Additionally, a district wide benchmark assessment was administered during the months of September 2008 and February 2009 to monitor student achievement growth prior to the CRCT. The researcher found that there were significant relationships between the dependent variable, student achievement, and leadership, teacher professional development, and the winter benchmark assessment that is administered annually as a predictor of performance on the Criterion Referenced Competency Test. The results suggests that the treatment practices that considered fine-tuning teacher instructional practices by providing professional development gives explanation as to why the treatment was successful. The results substantiate how purposeful professional development for teachers can have an impact on student achievement. It was recommended that planned professional development be arranged and offered to teachers along with a student benchmark assessment that is similar in content, content weights, and item number as the state’s standardized test administered prior to formal testing.

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