This case study explores the contextual factors involved in one high school mathematics department that is successful in getting African-American students to take advanced levels of mathematics. Examination of the school site, teacher and staff interviews, and school documents highlight the particular manner in which student success may be aided by five characteristics of the department: a rigorous curriculum and the support to maneuver through it; active commitment to students; commitment to a collective enterprise; a resourceful and empowering chairperson, and standards-based instructional practices. This article also explores the role of race and racism on student learning. Implications for policy and research are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas