First Advisor

Esperanza De La Vega

Term of Graduation

Spring 2022

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Administration


Educational Leadership and Policy





Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 109 pages)


The long-standing achievement gap between African-American students in grades k-12 and their White counterparts has inspired many educational leaders and policy makers to seek a deeper, more comprehensive understanding of the various factors affecting the well-being of Black students. The conversation has historically focused on deficits and dysfunction while ignoring strengths and resiliencies. The research in this study investigates inaccuracies regarding Black families in order to change the conversation from one of deficits to a strength-based lens. In spite of the inequities that exist for Black families with regards to housing, employment, and health, Black parents remain committed to ensuring that their children receive the level of education required to increase life and career opportunities. There are common misconceptions of parental apathy and low expectations, yet these misconceptions are easily countered when the critical role that Black mothers play in their children's academic success is acknowledged, respected, and honored.

While there are too many Black children who are struggling in public schools according to traditional measures of success, there have always been and will continue to be Black children who thrive in the face of low-teacher expectations, under-resourced schools, and the cultural disconnect that exists between the school and their home. These students have an essential, yet often unrecognized, asset--a strong, familial value for education and high, parental expectations. This study examines the educational expectations and values of low-income, single, Black mothers and how they convey their values in support of their children.


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