Award Date

5-1-2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

James R. Crawford

Second Committee Member

Gene Hall

Third Committee Member

Teresa Jordan

Fourth Committee Member

Linda Quinn

Number of Pages

214

Abstract

The 2001 No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act legislation has had a profound effect on teacher rolls, especially African-American teachers. More than any other racial or ethnic group, African-American teachers disproportionately fail state teacher licensure examinations. This results in removing them from the classroom, while simultaneously preventing new teachers from entering it. The problem shows no signs of relenting under the current mandates, so as the diversity of the nation's study body continues to increase, the diversity of the teaching staff continues to shrink. This combined, multi-case study addressed the unexplained reduction in the numbers of African-American teachers due to difficulty in passing state licensure exams. The focus area chosen was that of the Metropolitan Atlanta area, specifically urban, re-segregated schools, where the greatest numbers of African-American teachers are typically found. It was designed to examine the state teacher licensure testing experiences of veteran middle school teachers who completed questionnaires relative to that experience, to a group of elementary school teachers who participated in one-on-one interviews. In doing so, the researcher sought to identify common themes among them which might provide further insight into this problem. The study was a follow-up to on a longitudinal study that represented a joint effort between the National Education Association and the Educational Testing Service in seeking similar answers but targeted professors and students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). This dissertation study was guided by three main research questions: (1) How well do colleges and universities prepare black teachers to pass state teacher licensure examinations? (2) How does stereotype threat influence the pass rates of black teachers on state teacher licensure exams? (3) Is initial failure of a state teacher licensure exam a valid indicator of future observed teacher performance? Stereotype threat was the theoretical framework through which this study was examined. This theory speaks to the stereotype pressures under which black people labor with regards to academic testing, particularly black teachers on state teacher licensing examinations. The matter requires extensive investigation and offers alternatives to testing in an effort to curtail the tide of black teachers systematically being removed from the nation's classrooms. Extensive research has determined that not only are the education experiences of students of color enriched by teachers of color, but white students benefit from their presence in the classroom as well. In an increasingly global, multicultural, and multiracial society, the white student body must become aware of and exposed to healthy images of professional people of color early in their lives. This will prepare them to effectively work alongside people of color in the future. Numerous efforts by federal, state, and local governments across the country are targeted at recruiting teachers of color. However, until significant strides are made to stop the disproportionate loss of black teachers from classrooms, the time, money, and effort expended in recruiting them will continue to be wasted. The disproportionate number of black teachers in the teaching field must be effectively addressed to benefit the students they serve, and ultimately the nation.

Keywords

African American Teachers; African American universities and colleges; De facto school segregation; Georgia – Atlanta; HBCU; License; Praxis; Resegregation; Segregation in education; Teachers – Certification; Urban schools

Disciplines

African American Studies | American Studies | Education | Educational Sociology | Race and Ethnicity | Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education

Language

English