Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in School Leadership


Teaching & Educational Leadership


College of Education

Committee Chair

Dr. John Freeman

Second Committee Member

Dr. Steve Bounds

Third Committee Member

Dr. Sherman Whitfield

Program Director

Dr. John Freeman

Dean of Graduate College

Dr. Sarah Gordon


This study is a journey through the academic lives of 4th-grade Black males in one Central Arkansas school district. This study aimed to investigate certain behavioral variables that may impede the learning and achievement of fourth-grade Black males in Central Arkansas. In the study, groups were established by ethnicity and gender and their test scores on ACT Aspire assessments were statistically analyzed to determine if there were statistically significant differences among these groups. Attendance was used as an independent variable to determine a relationship between math and reading scores and ethnicity and gender. Participants were selected based on standardized test results, school enrollment status, and race criteria. The methods of the study encompassed the beliefs and concepts of several theorists on learning styles, variables of knowledge, and traditional public schools. An in-depth literature review revealed current research related to the learning and the achievement of males at the elementary level, of Blacks in general, and of Black males at the elementary level. The study showed that there is a statistically significant difference between the mean reading and math scores when we controlled for days absent by ethnicity. Although the data indicated a significant difference between black and white students, it suggests that there is not a statistically significant difference between groups (male and female) on the ACT Aspire math and reading scores in this public Central Arkansas school district. Multiple regression models were run to know whether gender, ethnicity, and days absent affected the output-dependent variables (reading and math scores). In the series of regressions, each model added another predictor variable. The first model ran the predictor total days absent, the second model added ethnicity, and the third model added gender. The Sig. F Change is statistically significant shown in the models run for math, but the Sig. F for reading did not show a statistically significant difference when models were run. Many black male students continue to struggle in public school schools across America. The findings in this study were no different.

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