Black males continue to be the lowest-performing subgroup on state standardized tests in the United States of America. A very large majority of teachers are White females. This study examined the impact of White female teachers' beliefs and actions on the achievement of Black male students. Data was collected via interviews with White female teachers that teach in grades 3, 4, and 5 in a Midwestern urban city. Because I’m a Black male principal and the participants were White females, we were intentional about having a White female do the interviews so that the participants could answer questions about their beliefs, actions, and the academic achievement gap without hesitation or reservations. The data analysis revealed 8 major themes a) Black boys have social-emotional needs that cause extreme behaviors, b) trauma causes the Black boys to struggle in school, c) White female teacher norms affect Black male student achievement, d) Black boys don’t want to learn, e) perceptions about lack of parent involvement, f) lack of cultural awareness, impacts of curriculum and tracking of students, g) teachers’ feelings of frustration. The findings of this study confirm that the social construction of race has a major impact on the perceptions of White female teachers on the academic performances of their Black male students. The evidence in this study suggests that the beliefs held by White female teachers do affect the academic achievement of Black male students.


Natalie Rasmussen

Committee Member

Antonia Felix

Committee Member

Melissa Krull

Date of Degree




Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)

Program of Study

Educational Leadership


Educational Leadership





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