Date of Conferral





Criminal Justice


Glenn L. Starks


African American boys who graduate from high school and college increase their chances of success in society and greatly decrease their chances of being incarcerated. The gap in academic proficiency for African Americans is concerning due to low graduation rates and high school dropout risks when compared to boys of other ethnicities. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore teachers’ perceptions and to gain insight into the causes of the poor performances leading to the academic achievement gap of high school African American boys. The policy feedback theory and ecological model theory were used to determine what was needed to improve the boys’ learning capabilities for academic achievement. Participants were recruited by social media, and identifiers were used to select geographic location and occupation as teachers and administrators who were employed at their present public high school for at least 2 years. Data were collected by using semi-structured interviews with 10 high school teachers. Results of thematic analysis indicated 4 themes: (a) imprisoning the future, (b) role model effect, (c) testing the test, and (d) scholars and teachers. Results confirmed the importance of community involvement and student-teacher relationship to develop psychosocial skills and motivation for African American boys to cope with the pressures of high school. The findings from this study can be used to provide educators and policy makers with an insight on the barriers faced by African American males in education and some of the strategies used to combat them.

Included in

Sociology Commons