Examining effective practices of teachers in high performing Title I schools.


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When looking at educational assessment data, too many Black and Latinx students perform below the national and state achievement level on the National Assessment of Educational Progress and the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (National Center for Education Statistics, 2017, Table 5). This concern is not a new problem; Black and Latinx students’ achievement gap has existed for over 50 years. As schools become more diverse across the country, teachers need adequate preparation to provide quality instruction to students from different races and cultural backgrounds. “Cultural, ethnic, racial, linguistic, and religious diversity is increasing in the United States as well as in the nation’s schools” (Banks & Banks, 2016, p. 171). Cultural differences between teachers and students substantially impact many students’ academic achievement. As student diversity continues to shift, research expands to help inform culturally responsive teaching and pedagogy as an instructional method that improves all students’ academic achievement. National and local education officials seek to understand what is causing the academic achievement gaps and what is needed to close the existing gaps.

This study investigates the implementation of culturally responsive teaching and culturally relevant pedagogy in public schools to help close the achievement gap. The purpose of this case study is to identify the systems, structures, and instructional practices teachers utilize on a high performing Title I campus to help students master content and reach their highest academic potential. This study examines one primary research question: What are teachers and school leaders at one high performing Title I campus doing to promote students’ academic success? This qualitative single instrumental case study addresses a Title I elementary school staff experience where students’ demographics are diverse. Still, most of the teachers are White. This research seeks to understand the impact of hegemony on student learning and to investigate the utilization of students’ funds of knowledge during instruction (Moll & Gonzalez, 2004).



Achievement gap. Title I schools. Black students. Latinx students.