Factors contributing to exemplary mathematics performance: A case study of a high -poverty middle school
The purpose of this study was to explore the factors that contribute to Exemplary mathematics performance (as measured by the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test) at a high-poverty middle school. A concern exists regarding the gap in achievement that separates economically disadvantaged students from more advantaged students; this concern has been present for decades. While this gap has narrowed, progress has been minimal and the achievement of these students remains a concern for educators (Weiss, 2003). Further, for many of these economically disadvantaged students, the middle grades are a time in which achievement gaps in mathematics become achievement chasms (Balfanz & Byrnes, 2006). To that end, a case study was conducted at a high-poverty middle school that has shown success in mathematics to determine the factors that contribute to its students' success.
The data collection consisted of observations, interviews, focus groups, and document reviews. The participants included campus administrators, mathematics teachers, and a group of students. The findings that emerged revealed four major themes. The themes include: (1) instructional leadership, (2) climate of community, (3) high expectations, and (4) response to data. The study will conclude by providing implications for practice for educators and implications for future research.