School-level Factors in Public High Schools that help Raise Academic Achievement for Black Males

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Virginia Tech

This qualitative research study explored the leadership perceptions of high school administrators who have been successful in raising academic achievement for Black males. Utilizing semi-structured interviews which served as the primary data source, this study aimed to uncover specific school-level factors that were being optimized in public high schools to help increase graduation rates for Black male students. In addition, a review of school documents acted as secondary data sources and offered more detailed views about the case studies. After thorough analysis of the data, the findings revealed five factors that the high school administrators were optimizing better support their Black male learners: 1) hiring Black males, 2) the staff, 3) school activities, 4) collaborations with community partners, and 5) formal and informal methods of offering positive feedback and special recognition. These five factors were found as having the greatest influence on the academic achievement of the males.

Overall, the study's findings aligned with earlier research on student achievement. Based on the findings, it was clear that the five factors promoted a certain degree of academic achievement independently. However, the researcher posits that, if implemented simultaneously, the five factors are likely to build a greater network of support for Black male high school students that will help boost achievement that is converted to increased graduation rates. Thus, implications for practice for other high school administrators as well as recommendations for future research emerged from the findings of this study.

Black male academic achievement, successful public high schools, raising graduation rates for black males, successful public high school administrators, raising academic self-efficacy beliefs