Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Elizabeth Minor

Second Advisor

Harrington Gibson

Third Advisor

Gloria McDaniel-Hall



Across the United States in almost every city, every suburb and every rural area there is a gap between the achievements of Black and White students. The term “achievement gap” has become an accepted label in situations where Black students severely underperform relative to their White counterparts. Many school Districts have discretely avoided discussing and or addressing this gap for decades. School District Z, located in an urban suburb just outside of a large midwestern city, is the focus of this research as they attempt to address the gap. Approximately two-thirds of District Z is composed of students of color, yet the achievement gap between Black and White students is 37 and 41 percentage points in reading and math respectively. As part of District Z’s plan for addressing the achievement gap, principals will be required to track the attendance and academic achievement of all Black students as part of their evaluation. In a previous work, I explored the effectiveness of tracking the attendance and academic growth of Black students on the achievement gap between Black and White students by examining standardized assessment data since the initiative was put in place. What I found was that District Z’s gap-closing program was not effective; in fact, the achievement gap between White and Black students widened over a five-year span. Having identified areas in need of improvement, I will now focus on potential strategies and targeted actions that will assist District Z in achieving its desired goals.