|dc.description.abstract||The landmark case, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, ended
segregation in public schools-changing the educational system in the United States
With the educational system constantly changing and incorporating new laws
such as No Child Left Behind, African-American students struggle to achieve
excellence. Many question if our educational system is truly failing our African-
American students--contradicting the No Child Left Behind Act as many African-
American students are left behind with no way of catching up.
The Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) report produced by the Texas
Education Agency (TEA) indicated that African-American students scored lower than
other ethnicities on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test, the
Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), and the American College Test (ACT). The lack of achievement by African-American students could possibly change if they were treated
equally and if quality educational opportunities were present through instruction.
The school system is key in building, as well as lowering the self-image of
students. According to Kuykendall (1989), approximately 80% of African-American
students have a positive image of oneself when they enter school, 20% still have this
image by the time they reach fifth grade, but only 5% have a positive perception of
themselves by their senior year in high school.
The qualitative case study method was exercised in this study because it allowed
the researcher to build a holistic picture of the phenomenon being studied. The
participants in this study were four African-American students that have continuously
excelled throughout their academic years. The primary instrument for this study was the
Emergent themes surfaced throughout the study. The themes included (I) Fear of
being perceived as acting white, (II) More African-American educators are needed to act
as role models, (III) Teachers' attitudes affect achievement, and (IV) Parental
involvement is key.
This research provides framework that is essential for African-American
students, parents, and educators. It serves as a survival guide to ensure that all African-
American children have the opportunity to be successful.||en