Differences in Mathematics Skills of Texas High School Boys as a Function of Ethnicity/Race and Economic Status: A Multiyear Statewide Study
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The purpose of this journal-ready dissertation was to determine the extent to which ethnicity/race and economic status were related to the mathematics achievement of Texas high school boys. For the first journal article, the degree to which differences were present in overall mathematics achievement for high school boys by ethnicity/race (i.e., Asian, White, Hispanic, and Black) were examined. In the second investigation, differences in specific mathematics skills by ethnicity/race (i.e., Asian, White, Hispanic, and Black) for high school boys were determined. Finally, in the third study, the degree to which differences were present in specific mathematics skills between Black boys who were Extremely Poor, Moderately Poor, and Not Poor were examined. Eight years of archival data from the Texas Education Agency Public Education Information Management System were analyzed for each of these three investigations. Analyzing 8 years of Texas statewide data permitted a determination regarding the presence of trends in mathematics performance. Method For this multi-year quantitative study, a causal-comparative research design was used. Archival TAKS Exit Level Mathematics data previously obtained from the Texas Education Agency Public Education Information Management System for the 2004-2005 through the 2011-2012 school years were analyzed. The degree to which differences in mathematics achievement and skill development existed by ethnicity/race (i.e., Asian, White, Hispanic, and Black) and economic status was examined. Findings During the 2004-2005 through the 2011-2012 school years, large differences were identified in the mathematical competence of Texas high school boys by ethnicity/race (i.e., Asian, White, Hispanic, and Black) and level of poverty. For each year of this study, Asian boys outperformed White, Hispanic, and Black boys in overall mathematics achievement on the TAKS Exit Level Mathematics assessment. Asian boys also had statistically significant higher scores than White, Hispanic, and Black boys on each of the 10 TAKS Exit Level Mathematics Objectives for each year of this multi-year investigation. Black boys consistently had the lowest mathematics achievement and skill development, particularly Black boys who were Extremely Poor. Results of these empirical investigations were commensurate with the existing literature regarding ethnicity/race and economic status and their relationship to mathematics proficiency.