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Factors Associated with the Black and White Student Achievement Gap: An Exploratory Study




Branch, Joy

Type of Degree





This paper discusses some of the possible contributors to the differences found between black- white Stanford Achievement Test (SAT) scores for elementary and middle school students. This study examines the following variables related to achievement: intelligence, underachievement, population increase of African Americans, family composition and poverty, parental education, access to educational resources, and schools. Findings from the study showed that the black student population made up a majority of the free/reduced lunch population and as such: student population, family composition, poverty, parental education, access to educational resources and schools had more significant effects on black free/reduced lunch student achievement. Moreover, data from the U.S. Census, the National Center for Educational Statistics, and the Alabama Department of Education further explain the problem.