EXAMINING THE PARTICIPATION AND SUCCESS RATES OF BLACK STUDENTS IN ADVANCED PLACEMENT COURSES: A TEXAS MULTIYEAR INVESTIGATION

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December 2023
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Abstract

Purpose The purpose of this traditional dissertation was to determine the participation rate of Black students in AP courses and to ascertain their success rates in all AP courses and in specific AP courses (i.e., English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science) across four school years, 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020, and 2020-2021 in the State of Texas from a Critical Race Theory perspective. Another purpose of this traditional dissertation was to ascertain the degree to which trends were present in the participation and success rates of Black students in all AP courses and specific AP courses (i.e., English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science) across three school years, 2017-2018, 2018-2019, and 2019-2020 in the State of Texas from a Critical Race Theory perspective. Method A quantitative, causal-comparative research design and Critical Race Theory were the tools used in this traditional dissertation. Black students AP participation rates and success rates were analyzed using Texas Annual Academic Performance Reports from the Texas Education Agency for all campuses in the State of Texas in all AP subjects and in specific AP subjects (i.e., English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science) across four school years (i.e., 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020, and 2020-2021). Critical Race Theory was the structure used to analyze past discriminatory practices and current barriers that present challenges toward improving the AP participation and success rates of Black students.

Findings Black students are not successful on their AP exams at the same rate they are participating in the College Board’s AP program. The AP participation rates and the AP success rates of Black students decreased in all AP subjects, and specifically in AP English Language Arts courses, AP Mathematics courses, and AP Science courses between the 2017-2018 school year and the 2020-2021 school year. The average participation rates of Black students in AP English Language Arts and AP Science courses between the 2017-2018 school year and the 2020-2021 school year decreased by at least 3 percentage points. The participation rates of Black students in AP Mathematics courses were very consistent, but at rates below 10%. The average success rates of Black students in AP English Language Arts and AP Science courses between the four school years decreased by at least 2 percentage points.

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Education, Secondary
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