The purpose of the present research applied is to develop recommendations for changing the curriculum to address the achievement gap in K-12 students in Virginia. The implementation of the recommendations is expected to reduce the difference between the SOL scores of White and African American students. The research will utilize a multimethod approach, which implies that both qualitative and quantitative methods will be used. First, a total of five structured interviews with teachers and school authorities specializing in teaching African American students will be conducted using Zoom. The purpose of the structured interviews will be to summarize the problems with the current curriculum using the first-hand experience of educators involved in the direct teaching of minority students on a daily basis. The interviews will be used to generate ideas about what improvements to the curriculum are needed to reduce the achievement gap.
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Second, the ideas generated during the first stage of the research will be used to create a questionnaire for the quantitative analysis. A sample of K-12 teachers will be asked to complete the survey in Google Forms to understand how much they agree that curriculum change recommendations. Moreover, the questionnaire will also assess the feasibility of changing the curriculum using the provided recommendations. All the information will be compiled in an Excel spreadsheet. Descriptive statistics will be used to assess the appropriateness and feasibility of the provided recommendations based on teachers’ opinions. The results of the research will be evaluated in light of the findings of previous research.
Central Research Question
How can the problem of the achievement gap in K-12 students in Virginia be addressed through curriculum change?