School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Angela Ford


academic growth, black-operated schools, charter public schools, dynamic model, school-level factors, traditional public schools


Curriculum and Instruction


This ex post facto, causal-comparative quantitative study assessed the math and English language arts (ELA) 7th to 8th-grade academic growth among Black students enrolled in Philadelphia’s black-operated public charter schools, non-black operated charter schools, and traditional public schools while controlling for 6th-grade exam scores. Over 65 years after Brown versus Board of Education disallowed public school segregation, the academic achievement gap between Black and white students persists. Various parental and educational stakeholders have considered charter public schools as suitable educational alternatives for narrowing this academic gap. This condition along with an assertion by some community activists that Black leaders are best suited for educating Black children served as the impetus for this study. The sample included student scores (n = 463 for math and n= 506 for ELA) from the 2016 to 2019 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) exams. The researcher statistically assessed the data with a one-way analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and used the dynamic model of educational effectiveness to theoretically analyze the findings. There were no statistically significant differences in the academic growth among Black students in the three types of schools. Further analysis of the data revealed that students in non-black operated charter schools had higher mean scores on the math and ELA exams than their counterparts. The continued failure of public schools to provide an equitable, quality education for many Black students should encourage further investigations into the possible effects of charter schools and Black leaders on academic performance.