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Thesis/Dissertation Seminars

Dissertation Defense: An Examination of the Algebra 1 Achievement of Black and Hispanic Student Participants in a Large Urban School District's Mathematics Intervention Program

ED 306
March 28, 2018 @ 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM

Announcing the Final Examination of Elethia Bronson for the degree of Doctor of Education

The disparity in mathematics achievement between Black and White as well as Hispanic and White students has persisted for decades despite legislative and judicial actions to improve educational outcomes for racial/ethnic and other underperforming subgroups. The purpose of the study was to examine the Algebra 1 achievement of students participating in a mathematics intervention program compared to the Algebra 1 achievement of their similar non-participating peers. Further quantitative analysis was conducted focusing on Algebra 1 exam score differences among intervention program participants in varying course structures, summer attendance categories, and school socioeconomic status. Five research questions were posed and addressed to attend to the study's purpose. The Florida Standards Assessment Algebra 1 End-of-Course exam scale scores, as the dependent variable, were quantitatively examined with the following independent variables: incoming Florida Standards Assessment exam score, student grade level, student socioeconomic status, school poverty level, summer mathematics camp attendance, and course structure.

The study found that Black and Hispanic 7th grade intervention program participants significantly outperformed their similar non-participating 7th grade peers as well as non-participating Black and Hispanic 9th grade students. No statistically significant differences were found among program participants who attended the summer mathematics camp for different numbers of days. Black and Hispanic intervention program participants enrolled in a double-block Algebra 1 course numerically outscored their single-period program peers overall and when disaggregated by race/ethnicity and prior year achievement level.

Much research has focused on the existence of and potential causes of the Black-White and Hispanic-White achievement gaps, but not on programs or practices that improve mathematics outcomes for Black and Hispanic students. This research contributes to the scant literature on successful mathematics intervention programs for Black and Hispanic students. This study provides relevant information for school district leaders and decision makers seeking to replicate an environment where Black and Hispanic secondary mathematics learners thrive.

Committee in Charge: Rosemarye Taylor (Chair), Janet Andreasen, Lee Baldwin, Valerie Storey