Date of Award

January 2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Gary Schnellert

Abstract

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this case study was to identify gradual growth and

improvement in test scores of black students compared to white students for St. Cloud

School District 742 as showed in NWEA and MCA testing. The achievement gap in

the state of Minnesota has been a pervasive issue that has long been discussed and

analyzed. School districts the size of St. Cloud have seen dramatic shifts in

demographics that have caused administrators and teachers to change their

instructional approaches.

This study looked at specific programs, practices, and instructional strategies

that recognized growth and improvement in state testing and assessment for black

students in St. Cloud School District 742. An increase in Somali immigrants along

with a steady number of African-American families in the St. Cloud area has resulted

in a significant number of students who either were new to the country or below grade

level proficiencies in the areas of math and reading. From 2004-2006, the district saw

a double digit drop in proficiency scores of students in math and reading from the

previous school year of 2003-2004. District enrollment of black students increased

20% in one year's time (in 2004-2005) and continued to increase until school year

2005-2006 when School District 742 implemented new programs, practices, and

strategies to help address the decline in math and reading proficiency scores. Within a three

year period after the implementation of new interventions, the district saw an increase in

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NWEA reading and math scores and improvement in MCA scores (This information

was obtained by accessing the Viewpoint database, a database containing confidential

information about individual students in the school district. Viewpoint data is

protected by federal and state law, and local district policy, and therefore, no citation

has been given.).

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