The Impact of the State of Alabama's Academic Goals of 2030 on Outcomes for High School At-Risk Minority Students

Kameka Dorsey Cottrell, Walden University


The Every Student Succeeds Act decreased federal regulations allowing for more power to be returned to states to meet the educational needs of their students. As the number of minority students increases, the disparities between this population and their White counterparts is concerning. Ways in which states provide remediation tools to reduce the growing number of minority high school dropouts are not well understood. The purpose of this case study was to explore Alabama's academic goals set to be accomplished by 2030 including decreasing percentage of non graduates by 50%, providing support for at-risk students, and expanding the early warning system for proper identification beginning in third reduce the number of minority high school dropouts. Ogbu's cultural-ecological theory of minority student performance provided the theoretical framework for this study because it is based on the way minorities are treated within the educational system. An urban high school in Tuscaloosa, Alabama was used for this study. Interviews were conducted with a purposeful sample of 1 graduation coach, 2 school counselors, and 1 representative from Alabama's state department of education. Data were analyzed and coded to identify categories and themes. Findings indicated that the remediation tools provided by the state were positively impacting minority students; however, factors such as limited staffing, inadequate training, and lack of equitable funding hindered the potential impact. Findings may assist other policymakers to develop adequate plans of remediation. Social change implications for this study include reducing the number of minority students dropping out of school, affording them the opportunity to become productive citizens while breaking the cycle of minority high school dropouts.