A comparative analysis of the academic performance of Black students in elementary magnet versus elementary non-magnet schools in North Carolina

Vonda Lakecia Reed, Fayetteville State University

Abstract

The poor performance of Black students on reading and mathematics tests is a consistent conundrum. Educators and policymakers attempt to implement programs to increase the performance level of Black students, but many still fail to attain the minimal grade level standards. Magnet schools have become increasingly popular in the arena increasing diversity and improving student performance. However, comparative studies focusing on the performance of students enrolled in elementary magnet schools versus those enrolled in elementary non-magnet schools are few. Comparative studies that focus on the performance of Black elementary students at magnet schools and non-magnet schools are virtually nonexistent.^ The purpose of this study was two-fold: (a) to compare the academic performance of Black students enrolled in elementary magnet schools and Black students enrolled in elementary non-magnet schools and (b) to determine if the size of a magnet school has an affect on Black students' performance. ^ The population sample included a total of 40 schools from four public school systems in the state of North Carolina. The percentage of Black students performing at grade level (Level III) or above (Level IV) on both the North Carolina End-of-Grade Reading and Mathematics Tests (performance composite) during the 2000-2001, 2001-2002, and 2002-2003 School Years, were utilized as the measurement for the academic performance of Black students.^ This study was based on school-level information. Public, existing data for the study were collected from four databases, three of which are available on the Internet. The first database was the North Carolina List of Magnet Schools which was used to identify elementary magnet schools, grades kindergarten through five. The second database was the 2000-2001, 2001-2002, and 2002-2003 National Center for Education Statistics which provided the type of school, total enrollment of students, and enrollment of students by ethnic groups. The third database was the 2000-2001, 2001-2002, and 2002-2003 North Carolina School Report Cards. The North Carolina Report Cards provided the percentage of Black students in grades three, four, and five who scored at (Level III) or above (Level IV) grade level on reading and math as measured by the North Carolina End-of-Grade Tests achievement scores. The fourth database was the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction ABCs Results. Each school's performance on both the North Carolina End-of-Grade Reading and Mathematics Tests and their performance rating were retrieved from this database.^ The data for this study were analyzed with the Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS) Student Version, 11.0. The t-test was performed to determine if significant differences existed in Black students' performance (a) between elementary magnet and non-magnet schools and (b) in small elementary and large elementary magnet schools. Results indicated that there were no significant differences between Black students' performance at elementary magnet schools and elementary non-magnet schools.^ The results also indicated that there were no significant differences between the performance of Black students enrolled in small elementary magnet schools and large elementary magnet schools. This study concludes that (a) Black students enrolled in elementary magnet schools do not perform higher on the North Carolina End-of-Grade Reading and Mathematics Tests than Black students enrolled in elementary non-magnet schools and (b) Black students enrolled in small elementary magnet schools do not perform higher on the North Carolina End-of-Grade Reading and Mathematics Tests than Black students enrolled in large elementary magnet schools.^

Subject Area

Black Studies|Education, Administration|Education, Elementary

Recommended Citation

Reed, Vonda Lakecia, "A comparative analysis of the academic performance of Black students in elementary magnet versus elementary non-magnet schools in North Carolina" (2004). ETD Collection for Fayetteville State University. AAI3287783.
http://digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/dissertations/AAI3287783

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