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A Comparison of African and Mainstream Culture On African-American Students in Public Elementary Schools

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2011
Dissertation
Author: Andrea Green-Gibson
Abstract:
This mixed, causal-comparative study was an investigation of culture infusion methods and AYP of two different public schools in Chicago, a school that infuses African culture and a school that does not. The purpose of the study was to identify if there was a significant causative relationship between culture infusion methods and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for African-American students. Internal documents were used to find significant themes in culture infusion practices. Report card data was used to reveal third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students' AYP information. The t-Test was used to compare the statistical significance of the difference between the means of two culturally different schools (Wasson, 2003). Significant themes emerged from the qualitative data collection and analysis: (a) curricula, (b) mission statements, (c) vision statements, (d) welcome letters, and (e) general information sections. The quantitative data revealed that ISAT scores-levels of 1 and 2 (both scores not meeting AYP) were issued in excess to the school that does not infuse African culture compared to the African-centered school where ISAT score-levels were higher across third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade levels. Based on the results of the t-Test analysis, the null hypothesis was rejected. There is a significant causative relationship between culture infusion and AYP. The probability of more African-American students meeting AYP in a school that infuses African culture is significantly greater than the probability of more African-American students meeting AYP at a school that does not infuse African culture in the schooling process. Recommendations and suggestions for future studies were advised.

TABLE OF CONTENTS LIST OF TABLES .................................................................................................................xi CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION ..........................................................................................1 Background of the problem ...................................................................................................1 Problem Statement .................................................................................................................4 Purpose Statement ..................................................................................................................6 Significance of the Study .......................................................................................................6 Nature of the Study ................................................................................................................7 Research Question .................................................................................................................11 Hypotheses .............................................................................................................................11 Theoretical Framework ..........................................................................................................11 Definition of Terms................................................................................................................16 Assumptions ...........................................................................................................................17 Scope, Limitations, and Delimitations ...................................................................................19 Summary ................................................................................................................................20 CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW ...............................................................................22 Overview of Literature Review .............................................................................................22 Historical Overview of Education for African-Americans ....................................................23 Early to Mid Decades of the 19 th Century .............................................................................23 Late Decades of the 19 th Century ...........................................................................................28 Early to Mid Decades of the 20 th Century .............................................................................30 21 st Century Education Reform Efforts .................................................................................33

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Journals, Research Documents, and Current Findings ..........................................................37 Aligning Culture with Curriculums for African-American Students ....................................38 Teacher and Teacher Educator Reform .................................................................................39 Culturally Relevant Education Practices ...............................................................................41 Transformational Change for Citizenship Education ............................................................44 The Affect of Cultural Discontinuity and Reform Efforts .....................................................47 Conclusion .............................................................................................................................50 Summary ................................................................................................................................51 CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHOD .................................................................................54 Appropriateness of Research Method ....................................................................................54 Appropriateness of Research Design .....................................................................................55 Population and Sampling Procedures ....................................................................................57 Data Collection Procedures ....................................................................................................57 Internal Validity .....................................................................................................................59 Data Analysis .........................................................................................................................60 Summary ................................................................................................................................61 CHAPTER 4: RESULTS .......................................................................................................63 Research Question .................................................................................................................63 Qualitative Data Collection, Analysis, and Findings .............................................................64 SIPAAA Data: Mission Statement.........................................................................................64 SIPAA Data: Vision Statement ..............................................................................................65 SIPAAA Data: Curriculum ....................................................................................................66 Parent-Student Handbook Data: Welcome Letter ..................................................................66

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Parent-Student Handbook Data: General Information ...........................................................68 Significant Information from School A Parent-Student Handbook .......................................70 The Virtues of Ma’at ..............................................................................................................72 The Nguzo Saba .....................................................................................................................73 The Importance of African Rituals ........................................................................................74 Quantitative Data Collection, Analysis, and Findings ...........................................................75 Findings: Sample Population School A and School B’s AYP Reports .................................76 Summary ................................................................................................................................83 Conclusion .............................................................................................................................84 CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS .........................................85 Qualitative Findings and Interpretations ................................................................................86 SIPAAA: Missions Statement................................................................................................86 SIPAAA: Vision Statement ...................................................................................................87 SIPAAA: Curriculum.............................................................................................................88 Parent-Student Handbook Data: Welcome Letter ..................................................................90 Parent-Student Handbook Data: General Information ...........................................................90 Significant Information from School A Parent-Student Handbook .......................................91 Quantitative Findings and Interpretations ..............................................................................91 Sample Population: ................................................................................................................92 Descriptive Statistics for School A and B Student Population ..............................................92 Summary Table for School A and B Student Population ......................................................93 Independent t-Test .................................................................................................................94 Summary ................................................................................................................................95

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Recommendations ..................................................................................................................95 Researcher Reflections...........................................................................................................99 Suggestions for Future Research ...........................................................................................99 Summary and Conclusion ......................................................................................................100 References ..............................................................................................................................103 Appendix A: Copy of the Independent t-Test ........................................................................107

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LIST OF TABLES Table 1 Sample Population School A and School B’s AYP reports .......................................76 Table 2 Descriptive Statistics Third Grade AYP Scores for School A and School B ............77 Table 3 Independent t-Test Summary Table for Comparison of Third grade AYP Scores for School A and School B ...........................................................................................................78 Table 4 Descriptive Statistics Fourth Grade AYP Scores for School A and School B ..........78 Table 5 Independent t-Test Summary Table for Comparison of Fourth grade AYP Scores for School A and School B ...........................................................................................................79 Table 6 Descriptive Statistics Fifth Grade AYP Scores for School A and School B .............79 Table 7 Independent t-Test Summary Table for Comparison of Fifth grade AYP Scores for School A and School B ...........................................................................................................80 Table 8 Descriptive Statistics Sixth Grade AYP Scores for School A and School B .............80 Table 9 Independent t-Test Summary Table for Comparison of Sixth grade AYP Scores for School A and School B ...........................................................................................................81 Table 10 Worksheet to Calculate Independent t-Test Values for School A and School B .....82 Table 11 Independent t-Test...................................................................................................82

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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION The public educational system is comprised of diverse demographics wherein each student has a distinct cultural personal history (O’Brien, 1998). In America, the perception was that a melting pot society existed according to deMarrais and LeCompte (1999), who maintained that, stew pot or salad bowl would be a more appropriate analogy. Conversely, melting pot meant to follow the European-American, middle- and upper-class model, whereas, stew pot or salad bowl, implied that diverse demographics together with distinctive culture to a large extent enhanced humanity in America (deMarrais & LeCompte). The melting pot theory has dominated the education system adversely affecting many African-American students who attend urban, public schools (Carruthers, 1995; deMarrais & LeCompte; Marks & Tonso, 2006; Nobles, 1990; Pai & Adler, 2001; Shujaa, 1998). A growing body of researchers reported that educational leaders are constantly searching to find the best methods for teaching African-American students who attend urban public schools (NCLB, 2002). Leadership stakeholders and educators are beginning to explore the possibility that infusing culture of African descent in the schooling process may help African-American students learn more effectively (Pai & Adler, 2001). Background of the Problem In the early 1960s, African-Americans petitioned for full civil rights including equal educational opportunities (Pai & Adler, 2001) and insisted that their cultural patterns exist and develop in their own way (Carruthers, 1995; Marks & Tonso, 2006; Pai & Adler, 2001; Shujaa, 1996, 1998). As a result, according to Pai and Adler, President Lyndon B. Johnson introduced the Great Society programs, which included educational measures such as the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. The idea of the Great Society programs was for America to become a society in which all groups have parity

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in power (Pai & Adler). Social, political, and economic equality was to be achieved by providing equal educational opportunities for all races of people (Pai & Adler). Compensatory education is a significant part of the Great Society programs according to Pai and Adler (2001) who stated that the purpose was to lift African-Americans from low socioeconomic status and help them find better paying jobs. By providing African-American students with the same kinds of educational experiences that enable middle-class white students to acquire skills and attitudes believed to be necessary to achieve success in America was a means to eradicate low socioeconomic status (Pai & Adler). Albeit, civil rights actions and equal educational opportunities were in place (Pai & Adler, 2001), African-American students still are not developing well in these programs remaining culturally deprived throughout their schooling process (Pai & Adler, 2001). In 2002, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 was amended “To close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility, and choice, so that no child is left behind” (S. Res. 107, 2001). The aim of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act is to ensure that all students receive a meaningful and just opportunity to receive a high quality education and meet the challenging state standards and assessments (NCLB, 2002). Though a large number of successful strategies and philosophies for providing effective learning environments for African- American students were identified, tested, and proven effective (Edelin, 1990), African- American students are still not developing well in the Great Society programs (Pai & Adler, 2001). African-American leadership had no voice in the developmental process of the Great Society programs (Pai & Adler, p. 65). To ensure that evidence-based strategies be present in the curriculum, according to Edelin (1990), African-American leaders, constituents, and advocates must attend meetings where

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decisions and policies about educating African-American students are being established. African and African-American leaders always knew how to educate African-American students but the philosophies and teaching strategies that proved to be effective were not present in the public school system because African-American educators were not included in the policy and decision- making process (Edelin, 1990). To provide a real education and meet the distinct needs of African-American students who attend urban public schools, purported Edelin (1990), the first step is to change the negative pathology approach that uses terms such as disadvantaged, permanent underclass, at risk, minority, culturally deprived, and low-achievers to define students (Edelin, 1990; O’Brien, 1998). Defining students as minority or academically disadvantaged promotes low self-esteem, according to Marks and Tonso (2006) who purported, self-esteem is vital to the academic success of African-American students. Marks and Tonso continued by stating when African- American students learn to believe that they are not capable academically, those thoughts become self-fulfilling prophecies that turn into reality for many students. On the other hand, when African-American students learn to believe that they and their thoughts have value and that they descend from a rich heritage, they too, will want to live out that reality (Marks & Tonso). Without an understanding of history, people cannot be whole and the process of becoming whole must begin by having a clear understanding of World History, including African history (Clarke, 1990). Discovering and implementing the most appropriate teaching practices, strategies, models, and theories for African-American students who attend urban public schools, are an ongoing struggle yet, critical to the liberation for African and African-American people in the United States (Worrill, 2007). Woodson (1998) stated the following:

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In the absence of an educational system that is culturally relevant, grounded in history, and directed towards some grand future visions for Africans (Thompson, 1995), is a mis- education system that consistently fails to serve the interest of African people both historically and presently. (Rashid, 2005, p. 543) Culture must be honored while meeting the underlying initiatives requirements of the local, state, and national mandates (Boutte & Strickland, 2008; Olivia, 2005). This approach to the schooling process predicates on the belief that the culture of African descent is important in general but more specifically, important to the well-being of humanity (Carruthers, 1995; Solomon, 1996). Educators must have a responsibility to infuse indigenous culture in the educational experience for African-American students who attend urban schools and to help them learn their own culture, which was the focus of this study. Two public schools in Chicago enhance the Chicago Public Schools curriculum, according to Finkel (2007), with curriculum content that tailors toward the cultural interests of African-American students. The evidence from this study was used to determine if there was a significant difference in Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for students who attend the school that infuses African culture versus the school that does not. Problem Statement Albeit, the U.S. education system must ensure all students receive equal, fair, and meaningful educational opportunities (S. Res. 107-110, 2002) several public schools deprived African-American students of the aforementioned educational opportunities (Carruthers, 1995; Davis, 2005; Shockley, 2007; Swartz, 2007). Many scholars argued that the American education system is failing the nation’s culturally diverse students (Cholewa & West-Olatunji, 2008), particularly African-American students (Nobles, 1990; Shujaa, 1996). A 2007 report from the U.S. Department of Education as cited by Cholewa and West-Olatunji revealed that African-

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American and Latino-American students across all social and economic levels consistently score lower in reading and math on national standardized tests as compared to their European- American peers. One of every ten African-American student’s drops out of high school (U.S. Department of Education as cited by Cholewa & West-Olatunji) compared to one out of every five of their European-American peers (Chicago Public Schools, n.d). According to Shockley (2007), the American education system failed to address properly the educational and cultural needs of African-American students who attend public schools, which caused major behavioral, social, and academic problems (Cholewa & West-Olatunji; Shockley). The problem is that little research has been conducted regarding the way culture in general and African descendants’ culture in particular is being applied to the educational experience for African American students who attend public schools in Chicago (Davis, 2005). The mixed method, causal-comparative study examined internal sources from two predominantly African-American elementary schools in Chicago. One infuses African culture the other does not; and uses the School Improvement Planning for Advancing Academic Achievement (SIPAAA) to find themes in the data. In addition, the study employed prospectuses and both schools’ report cards to help identify the causative relationship between culture infusion and academic performance outcomes for African-American students in two Chicago Public Schools. A comparison of both schools’ method of education (deliberate transmission of culture) and AYP reports was performed to determine how African culture infusion affect academic performance improvement for African- American students in an African-centered school in Chicago compared to the differences in AYP of African-American students who attend a public school in Chicago that does not infuse African culture. Both schools student population were primarily African-American.

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Purpose Statement The purpose of this mixed method, causal-comparative research study was to identify a significant causative relationship between culture infusion methods and AYP by investigating the differences between two Chicago Public School’s culture infusion practices and academic performance outcomes of African-American students in two culturally different schools. Employed mission and philosophy statements, prospectuses, and students 2009 AYP from two predominantly African-American schools, a mainstream public school and an African-centered public school in Chicago, to explain the effect of both schools’ culture infusion practices on student’s AYP. A comparison was conducted of both school’s culture infusion (education) method and students 2009 AYP reports to explain the significant differences in culture infusion practices and AYP between two predominantly African-American public schools in Chicago. The research study revealed evidence that described the causative relationship between culture infusion and AYP for African-American students. Significance of the Study This study was important because for decades several African-American students who attend predominantly African-American public schools in their Chicago neighborhoods had not been able to experience a culturally relevant education and continued to fall behind academically of their European-American peers (Shockley, 2007; U.S. Department of Education, 2007/09). On the south side of Chicago, the principal of a predominantly African-American school adopted an African-centered approach to the Chicago Public School’s curriculum (Finkel, 2007), but questions remain about the overall effectiveness of African-centered education (Finkel). Prospectuses and report card data from an African-centered school and a non African-centered

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school were compared on education methods (deliberate transmission of culture) and students AYP to establish the causative relationship. Many educators realize that how education is transmitted to students affects their academic outcomes as well as their psychological and emotional well-being (Cholewa & West Olatunji, 2008). Experts argued that educators should teach students “academic skills that are suppose to be taught using culturally relevant instructions that connects the content of the lessons to the children. Students should exit classrooms and school with some sociopolitical awareness as well as cultural knowledge about themselves” (Ladson-Billings, 1994a as cited by Boutte & Strickland, 2008, p. 55). Infusion of African culture has a positive affect on learning, so the ability to address effectively the cultural and educational needs of African-American students must require leadership stakeholders, teacher educators, teachers, and counselors to work collectively to reform education and develop significant educational models. Leadership stakeholders must examine teachers and teacher educators’ readiness and capacity to ensure they cease to misrepresent history and culture in teacher education programs (Swartz, 2007). Finally, leadership stakeholders and their constituents must evaluate their schools’ culture infusion methods to ensure that the deliberate transmission of culture (education) aligns with the educational and cultural needs of attending students (Shockley, 2007). Nature of the Study A mixed approach to this study was appropriate because this method enabled pertinent statistical data including mission and philosophy statements, prospectus, curricular, guides, and 2009 AYP reports to be the collected and analyzed. According to Creswell (2005), collecting information and gathering numeric data from a large number of individuals using appropriate instruments to measure variables in the study and using public official documents both are

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characteristics of a quantitative and qualitative study, a mixed method approach (Creswell). A mixed causal-comparative research design was appropriate because it enabled an in-depth look into the relationship between culture infusion and APY and a comparison of data from one school (a school that infuses African culture) with the data from a different school (a school that does not infuse African culture). The most effective way to identify a causative relationship was to measure the observable facts (Neuman, 2003) between culture infusion and AYP outcomes to explain the effects amongst variables (Creswell). Two primarily African-American public schools deliberate transmission of culture methods (education) was compared on the 2009 AYP outcomes for African-American students, trends were found in the data, which helped to identify a causative relationship between culture infusion and 2009 AYP for African-American students in two public schools in Chicago. According to Shockley (2007), Haki Madhubuti applies general African-centered knowledge to the curriculum at the New Concept Development Center in Chicago. An investigation of two predominantly African-American schools in Chicago, an African-centered school and a non African-centered school as well as a comparison of both schools on their AYP was conducted to determine the causative relationship between African culture infusion and AYP for African- American students. A mixed causal-comparative research method and design accomplished the study’s goals. Qualitative and quantitative approaches both were necessary to accomplish the study’s goals. A mixed method approach helped answer the research question, which avoided potential biases and a variety of different ideas about the situation that could have derived from conducting in person or phone interviews, as used in qualitative exploratory, research methods (Creswell, 2005). A qualitative exploratory approach to this study would have explored only

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perceptions of educators as a method to discover the ways predominantly African-American schools infuse culture disallowing an investigation of AYP reports or pertinent statistical data to determine the relationship between culture infusion and African-American students relative to their AYP results. Using an exploratory qualitative approach followed by a quantitative mixed method research design enabled themes and patterns of the way both school infuse culture to be sought after as well as well as AYP statistical data collection and analysis (Creswell). The Illinois state report card data was the public schools way of reporting academic and performance outcomes for students in Chicago (U.S. Department of Education, 2007/09) and the mission and philosophy statements as well as prospectuses provided data on school culture. Qualitative and quantitative data from both schools was useful. The mixed data revealed the AYP results and helped explain the way two culturally different schools infuses culture in the educational experience for African-American students in Chicago public schools. The results helped describe the difference between an African-centered education and compensatory education in terms of academic achievement (Pai & Adler, 2001). The results also provided significant information relative to the outcomes of infusing African history and cultures in the educational experience for African-American students in public schools, which was the focus of this study. This study required a thorough analysis of existing archived data from internal sources not the perceptions of individuals. A mixed approach accomplished the study goals (Creswell, 2005). An attempt was made to identify the differences between two public schools in Chicago in terms of culture infusion practices and AYP for African-American students in both predominantly African-African schools. No control was over the independent variable (culture) nor was the study under experimental control; therefore, the causative relationship between African culture infusion and AYP was more suggestive than proven (Wasson, 2003). Data from

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two different public schools, a school that infuses African culture (the experimental group), and a school that does not infuse African culture (the control or comparison group) was collected and analyzed. A comparison of both schools at the end of the year on their 2009 AYP was conducted and results determined that there was a significant difference in both schools AYP scores. The causal-comparative design accomplished the goals of the study, as it helped to identify a relationship between African culture infusion and AYP for African-American students in public schools in Chicago, with causation meaning the statistical significant differences in AYP would not have occurred without infusing African culture in the schooling process. Educational leaders, scholars, teachers, and parents have worked to find the best ways to teach African-American students who attend inner-city public schools (Carruthers, 1995). Advocates for compensatory education suggested that the most effective way to help improve African-American student performance is to teach the same values, beliefs, and skills that the middle-class white students learned (Pai & Adler), yet others argued that African-American students achieve greater academically when African culture was infused in the intent and content of curricular (Nobles, 1990). For decades, according to Marks and Tonso, (2006), African- American students have not been developing well in the compensatory education programs including NCLB, which were important parts of the Great Society programs of America to help improve the quality of education for poor children of ethnic minorities particularly, African- Americans (Pai & Adler). Nevertheless, the process of infusing compensatory education had an adverse affect on cultural equality for African-Americans by imposing adaptation of the traditional educational norms of schooling in America (Pai & Adler, 2001). The Great Society programs under the NCLB policy continued to provide compensatory education (Pai & Adler, 2001), which deprived African-American students of a significant educational experience (Pai &

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Adler, 2001, Shockley, 2007; Cholewa & West-Olatunji, 2008) and affected the AYP outcomes for African-American students who attended public schools in Chicago. In 1991, educational leaders in Chicago started the Small Schools Movement Workshop as an attempt to create new learning environments in communities that were historically toxic (Ayers & Klonsky, 2006). At least two public schools in Chicago have used an African-centered curriculum since inception according to Finkel (2007), who stated that former public schools’ CEO signed the proposal accepting the idea to open new small quality schools in Chicago. Finkel continued by stating that questions emerged in the public school sector about the effectiveness of an African-centered curriculum improving test-scores. Research Question What is the causative relationship between culture infusion and AYP for African- American students in two primarily African-American Chicago Public Schools (CPS), where one infuses African culture and the other does not? Ho: There is no significant causative relationship between culture infusion and AYP for African-American students in Chicago Public Schools. Ha: There is a significant causative relationship between culture infusion and AYP for African-American students in Chicago Public Schools. Theoretical Framework Under the Great Society compensatory education programs including NCLB, African American students are still failing at a high rate and test scores are trending in the wrong direction (Pai & Adler, 2001). Throughout the developmental process of the special provision programs for the academically disadvantaged (S. Res. 107, 2002), African-Americans were not involved in the policy-making or decision-making process, which ultimately worked against

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cultural democracy and any attempt to infuse African culture in the educational experience for African-American students resulting in ineffective AYP performance. According to Shujaa (1998), “The failure to take into account differing cultural orientations and unequal power relations among groups that share membership in a society is a major problem in conceptualizations that equate schooling and education” (p. 14). The Board of Education has the responsibility to ensure that all public schools have the means to offer all students a fair and significant opportunity to receive a high quality education in public schools, as indicated in Title 1 of the NCLB Act (S. Res. 107, 2002). In 1987, the Secretary of Education William Bennett declared Chicago Public Schools the worst in the nation (Chicago Public Schools, n.d.). In 1988, the General Assembly passed a school reform act, which authorized the Mayor of Chicago Richard M. Daley to take control of the crisis in Chicago’s education system (Chicago Public Schools). The reform act officially took effect on May 1, 1989 (Chicago Public Schools), which was a series of amendments made to the board of education in Chicago by a five-member board of trustees appointed by Richard M. Daley (Chicago Public Schools). The Chicago Board of Education was founded in 1840; this system is still responsible for the governance and financial oversight of public schools in Chicago. The third largest school district in the United States, the Board of Education for public schools establishes the policies, standards, goals, and initiatives that are to ensure accountability and provide a high quality educational experience to prepare students for future success in their personal and professional lives (Chicago Public Schools, n.d.). In the state of Illinois, the latest public school reform strategy was to turn around Chicago’s most troubled public schools and create 100 new schools in minority and low-income communities by 2010 (Ayers & Klonsky). Renaissance 2010, Chicago’s latest school reform

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strategy, was an attempt to provide teachers with necessary support to help create smaller learning environments and to provide a system to engage teachers, students, parents, and the community in a movement toward democratic education (Ayers & Klonsky). Conversely, according to Ayers and Klonsky (2006), the new-school initiative seemed more like a school-closing strategy for students who live in low-income neighborhoods and citizens are apprehensive about the current direction of the program. The initial vision of Renaissance 2010 was directly associated with issues related to social justice, equity, and community (Ayers & Klonsky). Early participants of the small schools movement were concerned about the direction of the program, which seemed to shift toward the destruction of public educational structure rather than reforming educational programs (Ayers & Klonsky). The Renaissance 2010 program moved toward closing underserved public schools, selling or privatizing the public space, and creating 100 new small public schools in communities that needs school reform (Ayers & Klonsky). Albeit, the Renaissance 2010 plan seemed appropriate for underserved communities, members of the small schools movement were not consulted nor were they invited to the table during the inception and planning phases of the Renaissance 2010 program, a critical look at the multiple reform strategies was necessary (Ayers & Klonsly). Education must be examined using multiple sources of information and multiple theories to discover the complex problems with the curriculum, instruction, assessments, interventions, and the learning environment (Cooper, Fusarelli, & Randall, 2004), as a means to reform education and develop effective schools and education models for African-American students who attend public schools in Chicago. A significant case was stated for African-American students who attend public schools in Chicago; the first step to addressing major issues within the public school system. A comparative investigation of two school systems, a school that

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infuse culture and a school that does not, and both school’s AYP to find significant statistical differences, was the aim of this study. Many African-American students attend European-centered public, private, and religious schools (Marks & Tonso, 2006; Shujaa, 1998). According to Carruthers (1995) and Marks and Tonso (2006), compensatory education reform strategies via The Great Society Programs, including NCLB, does not provide African-American students with equal educational opportunities. Marks and Tonso purported, infusing African culture in the schooling process by way of an African centered curriculum is one way to manage social injustice, and help African- America students gain a sense of ethnic self-worth in the African World Community. A thorough examination of what is happening to African-American students who attend European-centered public schools is part of the process of assessing the extent to which African cultural knowledge is being infused in education and the outcomes of this process (Shujaa). In addition, African- centered public schools should be examined through various lenses to ensure that the process of instilling African cultural knowledge is valid yet effective. The four-dimensional framework (Normative Dimension, Structural Dimension, Constituentive Dimension, and Technical Dimension) was appropriate for this study, as this conceptual framework was deep-rooted in concerns for social justice and ethics (Cooper, Fusarelli, and Randall, 2004). For decades, African-Americans have insisted that their cultural patterns exist in school (Carruthers, 1995; Marks & Tonso; 2006; Pai & Alder, 2001). According to Shujaa (1998), this goal is attainable but must involve strategic guidance of educators who have a clear understanding of African history and the readiness ability to infuse African culture in the educational experience of African-American students. The process of investigating education (culture) and the way education is being infused in public schools involved an

Full document contains 121 pages
Abstract: This mixed, causal-comparative study was an investigation of culture infusion methods and AYP of two different public schools in Chicago, a school that infuses African culture and a school that does not. The purpose of the study was to identify if there was a significant causative relationship between culture infusion methods and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for African-American students. Internal documents were used to find significant themes in culture infusion practices. Report card data was used to reveal third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students' AYP information. The t-Test was used to compare the statistical significance of the difference between the means of two culturally different schools (Wasson, 2003). Significant themes emerged from the qualitative data collection and analysis: (a) curricula, (b) mission statements, (c) vision statements, (d) welcome letters, and (e) general information sections. The quantitative data revealed that ISAT scores-levels of 1 and 2 (both scores not meeting AYP) were issued in excess to the school that does not infuse African culture compared to the African-centered school where ISAT score-levels were higher across third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade levels. Based on the results of the t-Test analysis, the null hypothesis was rejected. There is a significant causative relationship between culture infusion and AYP. The probability of more African-American students meeting AYP in a school that infuses African culture is significantly greater than the probability of more African-American students meeting AYP at a school that does not infuse African culture in the schooling process. Recommendations and suggestions for future studies were advised.