Challenges Of Studying Attributes Associated With African American Males Who Are Not Successful With Testing Measures

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Virginia Tech

African Americans continue to perform significantly lower on high-stakes measures of educational achievement than do other ethnic groups. Osborn (1997) attributes this low performance by African Americans to their disidentification with the academic discourse. Ickes and Layden (1976), Metalsky, Abramson, and Peterson (1982), Finn (1989), and Belgrave, Johnson, and Carey (1992) relate the poor performance of African Americans to the manner in which they internalize/externalize negative and positive outcomes and the longevity of such outcomes being internalized, which they term locus of control. This study explores the variables of self-esteem, locus of control, test anxiety, reading ability, testing behaviors and the performance of African American males on high-stakes tests of educational achievement. Simultaneously, the study provides a reflection on the challenges faced by a practitioner when he studies an issue of critical concern in his own community.

African American Males, Academic achievement, high-stakes tests