Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 2009


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program for Education Leaders (IDPEL)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Rodney K. Hopson

Committee Member

Peter Miller

Committee Member

George Yancy

Committee Member

Jerome Taylor


Student Achievement Gap, Elementary School, Case Study, Accelerative Factors Theory, Critical Race Theory, Successful School


This study examined the student achievement gap from the perspective of a school closing the student achievement gap. The intent of the dissertation was to discover or identify factors as to how an elementary school eliminates the student achievement gap as delineated by accelerative factors theory (AFT). In addition, the student achievement gap is an educational problem that emphasizes race. Critical race theory (CRT) was utilized to view how race and racism was situated in the school. These methodologies were chosen specifically to garner critical information of the efforts utilized by the parents, teachers and administrators to close the student achievement gap. Data was collected by interviews, observations, and public document review. The results from the data were synthesized and reported based on the research questions of the study.

Since the elementary school has made significant progress in closing and minimizing the student achievement gap, it was expected that the student achievement gap closing factors would exist in some or all of the data collected. The results of the study indicated that the research site obtained all of the factors in AFT. In addition, the acceptance of African American children was observed in the setting. This research is timely in response to the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act and assistance to urban districts have difficulty with minimizing the student achievement gap. Several recommendations are posited for how school leadership can close the student achievement gap.