Bibliography: Root Causes of the Educational Achievement Gap

Bibliography: "root+causes"+"achievement+gap"_1 2_20161009
Date: 2016-10-09T20:03-06:00 | URL: eric.ed.gov/?q=%22Root+Causes%22+%22Achievement+Gap%22 | Range: 1-2; Total Pages = 2 | Total Citations = 13

Bickford, Elizabeth K. (2013). Closing the Achievement Gap in Mathematics for Elementary School Students with Disabilities, ProQuest LLC. An achievement gap exists in mathematics between elementary school students with and without disabilities. Guided by the conceptual framework of constructivism, this project study addressed issues related to this achievement gap in the area of mathematics, specifically assessing the cause of this gap from the teachers' perspective. The research question was based on an investigation of the experiences of mathematics teachers who teach elementary students with disabilities in order to find what they perceived as the root cause of the achievement gap. This qualitative research design used case studies as the strategy of inquiry. Data were collected through interviews and observations of 6 teachers of students with disabilities. Interviews were conducted after observations with the participating teachers. Data were coded and analyzed first using typological analysis and followed by inductive analysis. The major finding of the study was that students with disabilities often lack basic skills and background knowledge for their school grade. Based on the findings, professional development training was created to help teachers gain knowledge about how to implement mastery learning within their classrooms and close achievement and skill gaps between students with and without disabilities. Implications for positive social change are related to the success of students with and without disabilities in learning mathematics. This professional development training project will help teachers differentiate their instruction by the use of student assessments. Assessments will allow teachers to focus on specific areas of student non mastery. Students will be able to achieve mastery of the learning goals before moving to other skills and learning goals. By becoming more proficient in their learning goals and having greater feelings of success, students will have greater confidence in their abilities to learn. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.%5D [More] Descriptors: Achievement Gap, Elementary School Students, Disabilities, Mathematics Achievement

Kurland, Michael A. T. (2013). A Capstone Project Using the Gap Analysis Model: Closing the College Readiness Gap for Latino English Language Learners with a Focus on College Affordability and Student Grades, ProQuest LLC. This capstone dissertation inquiry project focused on the underperformance of English language learners (ELLs) at a high school. The Clark and Estes' (2008) gap analysis model was the analytical framework used to conduct this inquiry. At the request of the school, the inquiry focus was on gaining a better understanding of the underachievement of ELL students as measured by standardized tests and grades, reclassified to fluent English proficient rates, and student eligibility to a four-year university, which ultimately became the focus. This study identified root causes and suggested research-based solutions, specifically developed to increase the number of Trojan High School (THS) Latino ELLs who would be eligible for acceptance to a four-year college. The research team acted as consultants to THS leadership, reviewed relevant research, conducted interviews, reviewed achievement data, assisted school officials in administering surveys, and hosted a parent focus group. The gap analysis process focused on the identification of root causes and possible solutions around three dimensions of performance gaps: knowledge, motivation, and organizational barriers. Each team member identified and studied two root causes and offered research-based recommendations (Jimenez, 2013; Morris, 2013). The root causes addressed in this study comprised of perceived affordability of four-year universities and the matching of grade expectations and motivation to grades earned. Research-based recommendations are discussed and because they are only relevant to the unique context of THS, caution should be exercised in applying the findings from this project to other school sites. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.%5D [More] Descriptors: College Readiness, Achievement Gap, Hispanic American Students, English Language Learners

Mingo-Long, Enyetta (2013). A Capstone Project: Closing the Achievement Gap of English Language Learners at Sunshine Elementary School Using the Gap Analysis Model, ProQuest LLC. This project was an alternative capstone dissertation conducted by a team of three doctoral students. The project focused on systematic and long-term underachievement of the English Language Learner (ELL) population of a single school, Sunshine Elementary, using the gap analysis model (Clark and Estes, 2008). More specifically, the purpose of the analysis was to examine possible causes for the literacy gap that impact student reading achievement at Sunshine. As part of the problem-solving model, the inquiry group reviewed the school's mission, goals, and organizational gaps. The team investigated possible root causes for the performance gaps noted. During this phase of the project, data were collected from Sunshine Elementary administrators, teachers, parents and students who completed surveys regarding their views towards literacy and the overall school environment. The principal, as well as several teachers participated in semi-structured face-to-face interviews, discussions, and a review of the current school adopted literacy program. This step led to a condensed list of validated root causes: (a) goal alignment, (b) professional development, (c) teacher collaboration, (d) parent involvement, (e) culturally relevant pedagogy, and (f) site based leadership. Finally, the inquiry team developed recommendations for viable solutions based on a review of the literature as well as research and theory on developmental perspectives on reading and literacy. Awareness of the benefits of developmental reading instruction has implications for positive social change by linking the multiple dimensions of reading, literacy, and comprehension development for ELs at Sunshine Elementary. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.%5D [More] Descriptors: Achievement Gap, English Language Learners, Elementary School Students, Problem Solving

Carruthers, Anthony Steven (2013). An Examination of Tri-Level Collaboration around Student Achievement Using the Gap Analysis Approach: Teacher Factors, ProQuest LLC. Using the Gap Analysis problem-solving framework (Clark & Estes, 2008), this project examined collaboration around student achievement in the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) from the teacher perspective. As part of a tri-level study, two other projects examined collaboration around student achievement in PUSD from the perspectives of central office administrators (Llamas, 2013) and school site administrators (Salinas, 2013). The primary purpose of the current project was to identify the root causes in knowledge and skills, motivation, and organizational factors that explain the gap between PUSD teachers' current performance and that required to achieve PUSD's organizational goal to institutionalize collaboration around student achievement. Mixed methods were used to collect quantitative data from 219 teacher surveys and qualitative data from four teacher interviews. These data were used to validate and prioritize assumed causes in knowledge and skills, motivation, and organizational factors. The findings revealed root causes related to the following: 1. Organizational support for effective collaboration around student achievement; 2. Teacher commitment to professional learning; 3. Teacher capacity related to curriculum and assessment. Proposed solutions were aimed at strengthening organizational supports, fostering teacher commitment, and creating a framework for capacity building. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.%5D [More] Descriptors: Educational Cooperation, Academic Achievement, Problem Solving, Models

Herrera, Juan Carlos (2013). A Capstone Project: Closing the Achievement Gap of English Learners in Literacy at Sunshine Elementary School Using the Gap Analysis Model, ProQuest LLC. This project was an alternative capstone dissertation conducted by a team of three doctoral students. The project focused on systematic and long-term underachievement of the English Language (EL) population of a single school, Sunshine Elementary, using the gap analysis model (Clark and Estes, 2008). More specifically, the purpose of the analysis was to examine possible causes for the literacy gap that impact student reading achievement at Sunshine. As part of the problem-solving model, the inquiry group reviewed the school's mission, goals, and organizational gaps. The team investigated possible root causes for the performance gaps noted. During this phase of the project, data were collected from Sunshine Elementary administrators, teachers, parents and students who completed surveys regarding their views towards literacy and the overall school environment. The principal, as well as several teachers participated in semi-structured face-to-face interviews, discussions, and a review of the current school adopted literacy program. This step led to a condensed list of validated root causes: (a) goal alignment, (b) professional development, (c) teacher collaboration, (d) parent involvement, (e) culturally relevant pedagogy, and (f) site based leadership. Finally, the inquiry team developed recommendations about viable solutions based on a review of the literature and research and theory on developmental perspectives on reading and literacy. The awareness of the benefits of developmental reading instruction has implications for positive social change by linking the multiple dimensions of reading, literacy, and comprehension development for ELs at this school. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.%5D [More] Descriptors: Elementary School Students, Achievement Gap, Second Language Learning, English (Second Language)

Chin, Maisie (2015). Are We Ready to #MeetTheMoment?, Voices in Urban Education. CADRE, an organization led by Maisie Chin, is a Human Right to Education Campaign. Between 2005 and 2013, CADRE played a lead role in using grassroots organizing and leadership development to create a seismic shift in public policy, debate, and narrative around school discipline, racial disparities, parents' roles, school climate, and closing the achievement gap for low-income students of color. Through parent organizing and coalition and movement building, CADRE ushered in major new educational policies locally, statewide, and nationally that have fundamentally changed the landscape and raised the expectations and standards by which responses to student behavior are assessed, their root causes, and the inherent biases that accompany them. By 2013, a Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) high school in East Los Angeles achieved the unheard of standard of zero suspensions. A South Los Angeles high school that CADRE focused on brought suspensions down from 100 to 7 in one year. In 2013, in coalition with youth organizing groups and advocates, CADRE ushered in LAUSD's adoption of the School Climate Bill of Rights, making it the first district in California to ban suspensions for "willful defiance." This victory was just after the state of California passed six major pieces of legislation that Governor Brown then signed into law, changing the state's school discipline landscape fundamentally by, among other things, making suspensions the last resort. Here, Chin describes #MeetTheMoment, a movement designed to confront persistent racial disparities. It is grounded in the School Climate Bill of Rights and other previous CADRE campaigns that would go beyond compliance and numbers to create new experiences, new stories, and new possibilities for students. [More] Descriptors: Community Action, Community Organizations, School Community Programs, Partnerships in Education

McKinley, Johnnie H. (2010). Raising Black Students' Achievement through Culturally Responsive Teaching, ASCD. While there are theories about how to close the achievement gap between black students and their white peers, what you need is the real low-down from frontline educators who know what works. Here's a book that gives you that plus a whole-school plan for raising the achievement of these chronically underserved students. Drawing from her work with teachers and school leaders who have narrowed achievement gaps in their schools, Johnnie McKinley lays out the instructional, management, and assessment strategies that make you far more effective at educating black students. As McKinley takes you through the steps of creating a teacher team and instructional walkthroughs, she imparts essential principles of culturally responsive teaching, such as: (1) Five root causes of the achievement gap between black students and their white peers; (2) Five factors that are key to closing achievement gaps; and (3) Ten most effective strategies for raising the achievement of black students. Based on these tenets of Culturally Responsive Teaching, the book provides you with a schoolwide plan that includes: (1) Instructional practices that instill content mastery by scaffolding to student's home cultures and responding to student traits and needs; (2) Classroom contexts that support learning through positive interactions, culturally-matched discipline, and productive learning environments; and (3) Assessment practices that provide constructive feedback to students to help them excel on high--stakes standardized tests. Chapters of this book include: (1) Setting and Maintaining Clear Expectations for Content Mastery; (2) Student-Teacher Social Interactions; (3) Classroom Climate; (4) Classroom Management; (5) Curriculum and Instructional Design; (6) Classroom-Based Assessment; (7) Cultural Competence; (8) Cultural Congruence in Instruction; (9) Cooperative Group Instruction; and (10) Procedures for Rehearsal, Processing, and Transfer of Learning. Appended are: (1) Assessment of Effective and Culturally Responsive Strategies (AECRS) Form; and (2) Walkthrough Feedback Forms. A foreword, an introduction, references and a study guide for this book are also included. [More] Descriptors: Feedback (Response), Classroom Techniques, Group Instruction, Instructional Design

Cholewa, Blaire; West-Olatunji, Cirecie (2008). Exploring the Relationship among Cultural Discontinuity, Psychological Distress, and Academic Outcomes with Low-Income, Culturally Diverse Students, Professional School Counseling. School counselors and educators tend to focus on the symptoms of cultural discontinuity and often view these symptoms as root causes for underachievement. In this article we use an ecosystemic paradigm to explore the relationship among cultural discontinuity, psychological distress, and academic achievement. Recommendations include ways in which school counselors can use macrosystemic interventions to forge partnerships between low-income, culturally diverse students' home culture and that of the school. [More] Descriptors: African American Students, School Counselors, American Indians, Low Income

Llamas, Sonia Rodarte (2013). An Examination of Tri-Level Collaboration around Student Achievement Using the Gap Analysis Approach: Central Office Leadership Factors, ProQuest LLC. Using the Gap Analysis problem-solving framework (Clark & Estes, 2008), this study examined collaboration around student achievement at the central office leadership level in the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD). This study is one of three concurrent studies focused on collaboration around student achievement in the PUSD that include the teacher level conducted by Carruthers (2013) and the site administrator level conducted by Salinas (2013). The purpose of this study was to identify the knowledge and skills, motivation, and organization challenges that contribute to PUSD's gap in accomplishing its organizational goal for collaboration around student achievement from the perspective of the central office leadership. Mixed methods were used to collect survey data from 18 participants and interview data for 4 participants to identify and validate the knowledge and skills, motivation, and organization root causes that may contribute to the PUSD's central office role in achieving the District's goal. Findings show that in general central office administrators are highly motivated and have the necessary knowledge and skills to meet the goals of the district but are impeded by issues related to resources specifically the to time for professional development, creation of job aides, structures and processes to encourage and implement collaboration across the district. Based on the findings, solutions drawn from the research literature are offered to address these challenges. This study is part of a larger study, in which two concurrent studies related to site leaders and teacher leaders, demonstrates how various stakeholders can systematically apply the Gap Analysis framework to address performance issues when implementing district-wide collaboration around student academic achievement. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.%5D [More] Descriptors: Educational Cooperation, Academic Achievement, Problem Solving, Models

Salinas, Esther Charlotte (2013). An Examination of Tri-Level Collaboration around Student Achievement Using the Gap Analysis Approach: School Site Leadership Factors, ProQuest LLC. Using the Gap Analysis problem-solving framework (Clark & Estes, 2008), this project examined collaboration around student achievement at the school site leadership level in the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD). This project is one of three concurrent studies focused on collaboration around student achievement in the PUSD that include the teacher level conducted by Carruthers (2013) and the central office administrator level conducted by Llamas (2013). The primary purpose of this project was to identify the knowledge and skills, motivation, and organizational challenges that contribute to PUSD's gap in accomplishing its organizational goal for collaboration around student achievement from the perspective of the school site leadership. Mixed methods were used to collect survey data from 34 participants and interview data for four participants to identify and validate the knowledge and skills, motivation, and organization root causes that may contribute to the PUSD's school site administrator role in achieving the District's goal. Findings show that in general school site administrators are highly motivated and have the necessary knowledge and skills to meet the goals of the district but are impeded by issues related to resources specifically time for professional development, creation of job aids, assessments, and intentional communication to encourage collaboration across the district. Based on the findings, solutions are offered to address these challenges. This project, along with its concurrent studies, demonstrates how various stakeholders can systematically apply the Gap Analysis framework to address performance issues when implementing district-wide collaboration around student academic achievement. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.%5D [More] Descriptors: Educational Cooperation, Academic Achievement, Problem Solving, Models

Executive Office of the President (2014). 2014 Native Youth Report. In June 2014, President Obama embarked on his first presidential visit to Indian Country, where he and Mrs. Obama witnessed the tale of two Americas. Standing Rock Reservation, like many others, faces myriad social, economic, and educational problems. Together, those problems are coalescing into a crisis for our most vulnerable population--Native youth. The specific struggles that Native youth face often go unmentioned in our nation's discussions about America's children, and that has to change. In their visit to Standing Rock, President and Mrs. Obama met with a group of Native youth, who courageously shared their stories of struggle and triumph. After hearing their stories, President Obama challenged his Administration to do more and do better for the young people of Indian Country. This report summarizes the nature and effect of misguided federal policies on Native children historically, with a particular focus on education. It then examines the breadth of negative consequences, including poor health, education, and employment outcomes, which are the legacy of these past policies. Next, this report describes the education systems currently serving Native youth and focuses on some root causes of the persistent educational disparities identified in the prior section. Finally, this report proposes some broad recommendations on opportunities for tribes to engage with other governmental entities and the private and nonprofit sectors to strengthen ladders of opportunity for youth and to help rebuild more prosperous, resilient tribal nations. In doing so, this report identifies areas where promising work is already taking place and where more work is needed. [More] Descriptors: American Indians, At Risk Persons, Public Policy, Access to Education

Jimenez, Evelyn (2013). A Capstone Project Using the Gap Analysis Model: Closing the College Readiness Gap for Latino English Language Learners with a Focus on School Support and School Counseling Resources, ProQuest LLC. This capstone project applied Clark and Estes' (2008) gap analysis framework to identify performance gaps, develop perceived root causes, validate the causes, and formulate research-based solutions to present to Trojan High School. The purpose was to examine ways to increase the academic achievement of ELL students, specifically Latinos, by determining the gap that lies between the school's desired results and its current performance. This project was carried out with an inquiry team of three doctoral students, and looked at the underachievement of ELL students as measured by the lack of students meeting eligibility to a four-year university. After looking at the goals of the school related to this population, and determining performance gaps, the inquiry team developed a list of possible causes. The team examined the list of possible causes through a review of data from interviews, surveys, a parent focus group, and achievement records. After analyzing the data, six primary causes were identified and validated: (a) achievement goals for ELLs were communicated in general form, (b) lack of enhanced parent-involvement initiatives, (c) lack of enhanced coordination of school support for ELLs, (d) inadequate access to school counseling resources, (e) lack of perceived university affordability, and (f) ELL student achievement was not consistent with their expectations. While the three dissertations (see Morris, 2013, and Kurland, 2013) of the inquiry team collectively offer solutions to the six causes identified, this dissertation focuses on solutions for two causes. The first set of solutions aims to build school wide support for ELLs and focuses on providing adequate school counseling resources to ELL students. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.%5D [More] Descriptors: College Readiness, Achievement Gap, Hispanic American Students, English Language Learners

Shannon, G. Sue; Bylsma, Pete (). Addressing the Achievement Gap: A Challenge for Washington State Educators. This study synthesizes current research regarding the nature of the achievement gap in Washington State, root causes and conditions perpetuating the gap, and strategies for closing the gap. It emphasizes the gap between white students and students of color and between students from more affluent backgrounds and their lower-income counterparts. Data come from the Washington Assessment of Student Learning, Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, and Iowa Tests of Educational Development. Results indicate that the large gap has remained relatively unchanged nationwide over the past decade. Similarly, Washington assessment data show a relatively large and unchanged achievement gap. White and Asian student performances are relatively similar, far exceeding the scores of black, Hispanic, and American Indian students. In mathematics, Asian students usually outperform white students. Strategies for closing the gap include changed beliefs and attitudes of parents, families, students, and teachers; cultural responsiveness; greater opportunities to learn; effective instruction; and more family and community involvement. Six appendices present test score results by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status, scores needed to meet future goals, characteristics of high performing schools, current activities to close the achievement gap, and case studies.(Contains 44 references.) [More] Descriptors: Academic Achievement, American Indians, Asian American Students, Attitude Change

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