Professional Doctorate in Educational Leadership (ProDEL)
School of Education
A pertinent educational issue in our country is the black and white achievement gap. One specific program that has been developed and implemented over the last several years in an effort to provide strong academic curriculum and raise student achievement, including minority student achievement, is the College Board's advanced placement (AP) Program. The AP Program courses are widely recognized as providing students with academically challenging curriculum, facilitating their acceptance to colleges and supporting their preparation for post-secondary education. The emphasis of this work relates to the concern that although the AP program has been in existence for decades and is a key part of most high schools' curriculum, there is an underrepresentation of Black students in Advanced Placement classes.
This work takes a brief look at the achievement gap and opportunity gap and describes how the common theme of course taking impacts the gaps. It discusses systematic barriers which lead to the inequities in advanced placement classes such as: Socioeconomic Status/Poverty School Structure/Policy, Teacher Training/Teacher Expectations, and Parental Involvement. In addition, it briefly describes the historical journey of intelligence, testing, and social theories. The framework used to address the problem is Networked Improvement Communities. Finally, light is shed on a school district currently working on this problem and a strategic plan is suggested in order to assist other schools, communities, or academies.
Wanzo, T. (2014). The Underrepresentation of Black Students in Advanced Placement Classes: A Local Response to a National Issue (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/1336