This is a literature review that will represent the first step toward a proposal for independent research. It will explore the Black-White gap in academic achievement in order to gain insight into what factors might contribute to fostering or narrowing the gap. Additionally, the literature review will explore what the achievement gap is, the context in which it occurs, and the extent of the gap. The importance of this research is to identify differences in achievement of black students who attend predominantly White schools and inner city Black schools. Specifically, it will seek to gain insight into academic achievement gaps occurring in schools that are predominantly White and schools that are predominantly Black. Through analysis of previous research the literature review identifies the current state of the academic achievement gap between Black students and their White counter parts. An analysis of the data has shown that there are many factors contributing to the academic achievement gap between black and white students including: socioeconomic status, environment, and teacher pedagogy. Many measures have been put in place to address the gap, but it persists largely due to socioeconomic depression and social stratification. In sum, data reveals that while the academic achievement of African American students has seen no significant change since 2008, the academic achievement gap between African American students and their white counterparts continues and represents an ongoing impediment towards the progress of African American youth.
The purpose of this study is to detect whether there is an overrepresentation of African American students with disabilities being served under IDEA in school districts in Wisconsin. This study will also examine what school factors might explain this variation. Racial composition, teacher quality and magnet and charter schools are the variables measured in this study. Regression analysis was used to test the significance of each variable. The results indicate that schools with higher quality have proportionately fewer African American students with disabilities enrolled under IDEA.