School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Rebecca Bowman


Achievement Gap, Achievement Disparity, Minority, Parental Involvement, Perception




The purpose of this qualitative, collective case study was to understand the perspectives of Black children's parents regarding their roles in addressing the Black student achievement gap in their Virginia school district. For this study, the achievement gap referred to the disparity of academic performance between Black and White students. The theories guiding this study were social constructivism and social equity as they both support understanding the world based on participants’ experiences. The research questions are as follows: (1) What do parents of Black children identify as their roles in their children’s education? (2) How do parents of Black children perceive the effect that their involvement has on their children's academic success or failure? (3) What additional support do parents of Black children need to facilitate better learning for their children? This study was bound to a Virginia school district, and the sample was composed of 12 participants from 2 schools: Harris Middle School and Sims High School. The data collection process included individual interviews, a focus group, and a historical document analysis provided by the school. Data analysis was conducted using pattern matching logic and consisted of coding, memoing, and transcripts interpretation. The study’s findings indicated that parents largely believe that the burden of education lies within the schools. Additionally, parents feel that as their student reaches the end of middle school, the child should be held to higher accountability for their success. By performing this study, I offered a better understanding of Black parents' perception regarding their specific roles in addressing the minority achievement gap.

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