Date of Award

8-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Frances Wills

Second Supervisor

Damary M. Bonilla-Rodriguez

Abstract

Student achievement data reveal that a disproportionate number of African American males are failing in school, placed in special-education classes, suspended or expelled from school, or incarcerated. Males of color factor substantially in the analysis of the achievement gap and its impact on economic and social development. The purpose of this quantitative study was to investigate whether single-gender environments had a significant impact on the academic performance of African American males in a public, urban middle school. The application of several theories guided this work: The African American male theory, ecological systems theory, critical race theory, and oppositional culture theory. The Grade 8 New York State Common Core English Language Arts exam was the assessment used to measure performance. An analysis of two specific types of learning environments, coupled with the intrinsic differences within coeducational and single-gender middle school environments were explored. A profile analysis was applied to test whether there was a statistically significant difference in ELA test scores of eighth-grade African American males enrolled in a coeducational class, compared to ELA test scores of eighth-grade African American males enrolled in a single-gender class. The 88 participants received coeducational instruction in Grade 7 and either coeducational or single-gender instruction in grade 8. Findings indicated no significant difference in ELA test scores for middle school African American males in single-gender learning environments, compared to those in coeducational classrooms.

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