Date of Award

Summer 1-1-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy In Urban Education Degree: Policy Studies


Education and Human Services

First Advisor

Clonan-roy, Katherine

Second Advisor

Laura Northrop

Third Advisor

Monica Gordon-Pershey


The purpose of this quantitative correlational study was to examine how the racial makeup of school districts and buildings affect the reading and language achievement of Black students. It examined the gaps between Black and White students on both the Ohio American Institutes for Research (AIR) English/Language Arts (ELA) Assessment and the state approved Northwest Education Association (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Reading Assessment. Utilizing secondary data collected from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) report card and a large urban school district, the study found that, statewide, there was a statistically significant difference in the percentage of students who were rated as proficient or above in reading. On average, across grade levels, the percentage of Black students rated as proficient in reading was 24.14 percentage points lower than their White peers (t=5.70, p=.0005). When controlling for mean years of teacher experience, performance index scores, district typology, and student poverty, the percentage of teachers in a district who identified as Black was not a statistically significant predictor of Black proficiency percentage (B = 0.28, SE = .13, p = .14). However, the percentage of Black teachers was a statistically significant predictor of district reading achievement scores (p =.043). The findings underscore the need for more diverse approaches to the teaching of reading and writing for Black students.