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It is well known that there is a large gap between the performance of the African American student and the white students. This gap is larger in mathematics than in reading. This level of variation has been attributed to factors such as the teachers pay, parent's involvement, student teachers ratio, teacher qualification, parent's level of education, school budget, and family income. This research will determine the reasons behind the poor performance of the African American students and also the level of effects of these reasons. The study will also explain the level of variation in the performance also ways of dealing or reducing the variation. The study will also expound on the above reasons that are said to contribute to the poor performance of the students.
CONSEQUENCES OF THE PROBLEM.
Academic success is one of the ways that provide avenues for the African American community to move forward socially. Poor performance of students in general leads to longtem deleterious effects on the individual students and also their families(William, dacvis, Johnson,saunders and nebbitt;2007). Students who do not perform well do not get the chance to further their education. This leads to high level of school dropouts and in the long run, the lives of the children are ruined since they do not have the qualifications to get jobs. In some cases, the students do not fail intentionally but due to lack of the necessary materials and attention that will help improve their performance.
Some students are willing to learn and are committed to education but due to unavoidable circumstances such as lack of the basic needs such as food, these children are not able to perform to their full capacity. These students end up frustrated with their dreams unrealized and locked up inside. Another consequence of the variation in performance is that it may lead to racism whereby the white children are said to be and perceived to be brighter then than the blacks and hence job opportunities are reserved for the whites who are said to be more qualified and effective.
When a student succeeds academically, they have the opportunity to secure an earning potential. Although succeeding academically is not a guarantee of employment but is increases the chances of securing a job and also a chance to lead a high quality life of life time earning. On the other hand, academic failure has effects such as reduced productivity level of individuals and also the lack of civic involvement.(newcomb, , catalano, abbott, Hawkins,hill2002)
STATEMENT OF THE PURPOSE
This research is aimed at clarifying the extent of the variation in performance of the African American students in the CRCT. It will also identify the causes of the variations and discuss the causes in depth the impact of the identified causes. The study will also look into what needs to be done to deal with the variations in the performance of the students. Measures to ensure that the children home environment as well as the teachers performance do not affect the children's performance. On the other hand, measure to deal with or eliminate the factors that affect the students negatively should be implemented. The students should also learn to respect each other and treat each other equally in school irrespective of their background.
STATEMENT OF THE RELEVANCE.
In these times
Definition of key terms
These are the differences that are evident between to aspects given the same means of measurement.
Variables are the independent factors or main aspects of an issue that contribute to certain outcomes.
The national mean is the average mark that every student in the nation is supposed to attain in an examination.
School student: teacher ratio
This is the number of the students in a school in comparison to the number of the teachers in the same school.
This is the difference in the level of academic output or results among different students but with the same means of measurement.
African American students
Students with an African American origin, also known as blacks.
Results that are below what is termed as normal, lower than what is expected.
The level in which the parents of the students are part and parcel of the their child's academic activities.
The level o
The money that the parents and the household is able to achieve in a given time period.
According to Maryland test score in a comparison between African American student in Montgomery and the revealed that the African American student in population in Montgomery was 32000 which comprised of 23 percent of the overall enrollment while in Prince George, the population of African American students was 102,000 which was 76 percent of the total enrollment. The study also revealed that the African American student in Montgomery were behind the white students with 41 percent points.
The factors that contribute to the poor academic performance of the African American students are associated with the community, peer influence, family issues and individual factors(flemming et al,2005; Haynie, south bose 2006). It has also been proven that the students who are not involved in deviance habits and those who are committed to family activities produce better results than the students who are antisocial and who are involved in defiant activities. According to Williams, Davis, Johnson, Williams, saunders, and nebbit, 2007; Williams, davis, miller- cribs2002)
From previous researches, it has been agued that the teacher's attitude towards the students is a major contributor in the performance of the students. It has been observed that the teachers are not keen and dedicated to the African American students as they are with the white students. The teachers are also known to believe that the African American students can not perform as highly as the white students and the therefore give the African American student tasks that are not as challenging. This has greatly contributed to the performance gap between the white students and the African American students.
This research will make use of qualitative methods to determine the causes of the variation of the students performance. It will attempt to descried the different situations that have an impact on the African Americans students and will also discuss other reason that are assumed to be behind the performance of the African American students. The research will be carried out in three schools one with both African American students, the second one with a majority of African American students and the third one with majority student s being white. This will ensure exclusive coverage of all aspects that have to do with the school environment, the teachers performance levels and also the relationships among the students themselves. In these schools, the students, teachers and also the parent will be interviewed so as to get the opinion all of the people involved in our topic. The school management and education specialists will also be consulted since they may have a better approach to the problem due to the experience and exposure they have had.
This study will bring out the variables that are said to contribute highly to the variation in the performance of k6 students in the KCRCT examinations. This will aid in finding ways of dealing with the factors hence a step towards reducing the variation and with time eliminating the variation or even reversing the results whereby the African American students will perform better than the other students in the CRCT and also in other fields.
The research will enlighten parents on how their behavior and response to the child's education life affects their performance. The parents who have their children's best interests at heart will know how to positively impact their child's academic life. On the other hand, the research will enable the teachers to work on the issues that may affects the student performance; they will drop the bad habits and embrace the new one that will work towards better performance.
The study will also advice the school administration and the government on how to handle staffing in the schools and also other ways of leadership and management that will see most of the resources allocated to the activities that are directly connected to the performance of the students.
What is the impact of the teachers pay on the performance of the student?
Is there a relationship between parental involvement in their academic life and the results of the child?
How does a teachers qualification impact the performance of a student?
What is the role of a parents education level in the overall academic performance of their children?
Does a school budget affect the performance of the students and in which way?
Is a families income level relevant in the school performance of a student? How?
What is the school student; teacher ratio in African American schools? Does this ratio contribute to the variation in the performance in CRCT exams?
This study is informative in nature and aims voicing out the required changes in the school administration and also family setups so as to provide students with a conducive environment for learning in order to compete fairly with other students.. This assures the country as a whole of a brighter future with well educated youth and also ensures that the country is academically equipped to cope with the dynamism of the world today. Moreover, the study is reference to teachers, parents, the government as well as the students themselves and other interested parties to know what to adjust and what to embrace. This study would form the basis for future advancement of studies on the same and to avoid the recurrence of below average results of the African American students in CRCT examinations.
This study has a pure research approach whereby it is aimed at expounding on and explaining the relationship between the students academic performance and their parents involvement in the school life, their teachers education level and their pay, the family income and also the ratio of the teachers to students. It will discuss the different factors that lead to poor performance and their impact on the students and also the impact on the overall performance of the school.
In conducting this study, qualitative research methods will be used. This is because the type of data to be collected will be in form of words and phrases. The aim is to provide insights to understanding the great variations in students performance in CRCT examination in the African American school and the American schools.. The fact that the study aims at finding the relationship and impact of the relationship between student performance and other external factors makes it a correlation research.
This kind of study is descriptive since the information to be obtained will help in understanding the different factors that contribute to the variation in performance and their impact on the students overall performance
Data collection methods
Data Collection Procedures
The basis of primary data collection will be questionnaires, face to face interviews and observation . Secondary data may be collected from the internet and school records.
A qualitative approach using semi-structured interviews will be used to collect data.
These are pre-formulated written set of questions to which the respondents will be required to record their answers. For easy response, the questions in the questionnaires will be within closely defined alternatives that will be provided, these type of questionnaires are referred to as closed questionnaires. This study will also use the open ended questionnaires as data collection tool The open ended questionnaires will have a space where they will answer the question in whatever way they want, the answer will not be guided but will be entirely the respondents view. This will help a lot in determining exactly what the respondents really think is a contributing factor or what they attribute to the variation in performance of student in African American school and American schools.
The main reason for using interviews as a method of data collection when carrying out this study is because there will be active participation of both the respondent and the researcher and this will make data collection more reliable since the researcher will have the advantage of detecting the physical communication signs which may reveal a lot. We shall use both the structured and unstructured forms of interviewing. In the unstructured, the researcher will go to the two schools and interview the respondents without any planned sequence of questions to ask the teachers. This will enable the bringing up of some preliminary issues to the surface so that the researcher will be able to determine if any further and detailed investigation was required. The researcher will have a list of predetermined questions and will use them as a guide when facilitating the interview. The reason for using the structured interviews is because it makes the data analyses easier.
This is a data collection method that involves active and passive participation of the data collector. The data collector can choose to carry a recording device or not carry at the point where the study is taking place. In our study, the researcher will visit the schools and observe the trends and behavior and way of doing things in the school. From his observation, the researcher will be able to determine the way things are carried out in the school, for example the teachers and parental involvement in the childrens academic life, the academic and extra ciriculum activities being carried out in the school. Alo through observation, it is easier to see how the students relate to each other and absenteeism is noticeable. The reason for using observation as a data collection method is because it is very reliable as the data collected will have little or no influence of the respondents who may give false answers. Another advantage of this method of data collection is that it has a high chance of being accurate. This is because what is being observed is natural --------
The internet will provide more information on the findings of other studies done on the variation of the performance of African American student in CRCT examinations. The advantage of using the internet as a method of collecting data is that it is fast and the information found is backed up by facts trom other studies. The internet provides specific information and hence data collection is easier and direct.
This involves going to various schools and getting their records and finding out the performance of the students in doffernt subjects in regard to their race. This gives clear evidence since the reords are not manipulated and the are evidence and proof of what has been said. Without these performance records, there is no way of proving that there is a variation in performance.
Data Analysis Procedures
The study will use inferential data analysis procedures. This because most the data collected will be mainly qualitative. Incase quantitative data comes up during the observation and interview, descriptive statistics may however be use when and as necessary. Content analysis identified patterns and themes in the data from which propositions and conclusions will be drawn.
Inferential data analyses
This is the process of making deductions from the collected data, its mainly the interpretation about the population on the basis of the information collected. An inferential data analysis has two broad categories; the first one is the estimation of data. This is where our researcher will attempt to determine or estimate the population parameter on the sample. The second step of analyses will be the hypothesis testing.
A hypothesis is a predetermined opinion which ------------. The hypothesis testing will entail subjecting or comparing the hypothesis to the statistical data that was collected. From this, an interpretation of the data will be determined.
The steps that shall be followed during the hypothesis testing are;
Statement of the hypothesis
Determining the significance level %
Determining the test statistics t test
Compute the test statistics
Decision criteria use table
Make the statistical decision on the basis of the table value
Interpretation or implication
Content analyses measures the semantic contents of a message. This will involve counting of words and sentences, categorizing the statements and phrases, describing logical structures of expression, ascertaining associations and connotations.
Descriptive data analyses
This method of data analyses will be used incase any quantitative data arises. This is where we shall develop certain indices from the raw material obtained from the two schools, for the purpose of describing the data. This will assist in providing a feel of the data which will lead to inferential statistics which is our main method of data analyses. Some of the measures that we shall us in analyzing descriptive data are;
Measures of central tendency; this will provide information on how close the data is or behaviour of data around the centre. We shall find the mean, median and the mode.
Measures of dispersion; this will show the variation or the differences in the data. We find the variance in the data, the standard deviation, the range, and mean deviation.
Measure of normality; from this, the extent to which data fits in the normal distribution will be known. This will make use of the skewness and kurtosis.
Measures of association; these are the various variables that are related. We shall find these variables and determine the form and strength of the relationship. This will entail using aspects like correlation, regression
The teachers pay level has an impact on the students performance in th longrun. The overall performance of the students is highly dependent on the effort employed by the teachers. When techers are poorly paid, they are not motivated to work hard and these means that they do not care about the performance of the students. What matters to them is that they have done the basics of going to class and teaching and they leave the rest to the students. The teachers are not committed to their work since they do not feel as if their effort is being appreciated.
On the other hand, some tachers report to schools when they feel like since they do not care whether they are sacked or not since they find their work not worth it and beind fired would not make a major impact on their lives. On the other hand the teachers who are highly paid appreciate their work and are committed to ensuring that they give their best when teaching. It is therefore normal to expect good results from schools whose teachers are well paid and motivated and poor performance in schools where the teachers are poorly paid, demoralized and they lack commitment to teaching and do not care about the students performance.
most African American parents are not involved in their childrens academic life and do not follow up on their progress. This is mainly because most of these parents are not educated and therefore they do not value education. They snd their children to school as a formality and as a way of keeping them off the street but not because they strongly believe that education has great impact on the childs future. Another reason as to why the parents are not highly involved in the childs academic life is because they do not have the time since they are busy taking ip as many joba s they can so as to make ends meet and also for them to afford school fees for the children. These parents may find education a crucial aspect for their children but they are forced to concentrate on ways sending the school to school and leaves the rest to the teachers. Such students may be very interested in education and willing to work hard but the lack of guidance and involvement of the parent may lead to poor performance and lack of support may make the student give up easily hence poor performance.
Ignorance is another reason as to why parents are not involved in their childrens school work. Most of these parents are the uneducated ones and do not see life beyond what they have gone through. These parent view school as waste of time and are caught up in the artistic lifestyle adopted by the African American community. To them education is a way of aquiring the basic knowledge which would enable them to get a job and be classified as educated. They believe tha with time the students will eventually drop out and find means of sustaining themselves. This attitude is very negative and demoralizes the students since they also stop believing in themselves and they go to school as a formality awaiting the time that they will drop out and find means of getting by life.
Education level of parents
A high percentage of the parents of the African American students are not educated. This contributes highly to the poor performance of the students in comparison to the highly educated parents of the white students. The lack of education for the parents means that the students do not have anyone to look up to for help in academic work and in most cases they lack the support that may motivate them to work hareder.
These parents are ignorant and therefore they do not monitor the progress of their children and this makes it difficilt for the children to be on track since they do not have anyone to help them remain focused on high performance. Parents play a major role in the decisions made by their children, in most cases, students with uneducated parents often end up dropping out and leading a lifestyle that the parents led. With such an attitude towards education, there is no way the child will perform above average.
The level of education attained by the teachers impacts the performance of the students. Techers who are highly educated and have a great level of experience ar moc=st likely to produce high performing students unlike the lowly experienced and qualified techers who may not have the best skill of positively impacting the students performance. In most African American schools, the students do no have high qualification and this explains the low level of performance. The teachers may be committed but since they lack the experience to note slight changes in the students attitudes and the ways of handling the different personalities of the individuals students, it becomes a bit difficult for the teachers to improve their out put in terms of high performance of the students.
In some cases, thes frustrates the teachers and they sometimes blame it on the students and they endup giving up and relaxing on their responsibilities. It is therefore adviseable to employ teachers who are highly qualified to ensure that the students full potential in brought out and this will lead to high performance of the students. Another advantage of highly experienced teachers in the African American scholls is that tey have the ability to help the students to be able to balance the complicated family issues and school work. This is by providing constant counseling to the affected students and dealing with the bullies accordingly so that all the students feel comfortable in the school environment and this will eventually improve the concentration and commitment of all the student. The longrun effects of this approach is that the students level of performance will improve.
The level of income in the majority of African American families is known to be lowand this has great effects of the childs academic life. Due to low income levels, sometimes the children do not have some basic needs such as clothing and food. In such cases, the children go to school on empty stomachs and this highly affects the concentration of the student in class and their results can not be compared to those of a studnt who is well clothed and fed and all they have to think about is their education and nothing else. Sometimes students hav to walk long distances to get to school since they cannot afford money to pay for transport.
Another challenge that faces the children from low income earning families is that there high level of absebteesm in school. This is because at times they are forced to remain home nad watch over their siblings as the parents go to work since the parents can not afford to hire a nanny or even day care for the little ones. This adversely affects the performance of the students since they miss many sessions and the parents cannot also afford to pay for extra classes or after school tuition.
These students also lack a conducive environment to carry out their after school studies since some have to work after school while others have to skip school so that they can work. The lack of school fees and the necessary materials required for effective learnig may also impact the students academic performance. In some schools these children are bullied in refernce to ther financial background and these makes the uncomfortable in the school compound and therefore their level of concentraatioon and involvement in class is minimal since they are afraid that someone might nake fun of them.
School students to teacher ratio
In most African American schools the number of students is very large in comparison to the number of teachers available. This creates a very imbalnced ratio between the teachers and the students and this makes it very difficult for the teachers to provide maximum attention to individual students amd this leads to low productivity in terms of performance of the students. On the other hand this ratio leads to overworking the teachers and since the teachers are conctantly tired, they cannot give their best as they teach the students. This cannot be compared to the other schools where the ration between the teachers and the student is balanced in such a way that teachers are able to concentrate on the soecial needs of the students. This kind of attention enables the teacher to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the student and work on them with the aim of improving the performance of the students. Attention motivates and encourages the students to work harder since they feel important and also as a way of appreciating the efforts of the teachers. In such cases, the teachers are motivated and give their full potential in teaching and addressing the educational needs of their students hence high performance.