An Examination of the Problem of Failing Algebra for Title I At-Risk Students in a Large, Urban Comprehensive High School



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The purpose of this study is to examine the differences between Title I at-risk students who do pass algebra and those who do not. Many Title I at-risk students fail algebra during the first semester in a large, urban comprehensive high school. In Texas, House Bill 5 requires passing the End of Course (EOC) Algebra as the only math course for graduation. The study uses one large, urban comprehensive high school to compare the time spent with after school extracurricular activities with the time spent on completing algebra homework. Since the Brown vs. Board of Education decision, many of the students failing both algebra classes and algebra interventions are students of color who represent our largest subgroups – African-American and Hispanic students (Gomez, 2012). Recently, two authors’ stated that each semester that a student fails in ninth grade increases the probability of dropping out by 15%, regardless of whether they have high or low test scores (Nomi and Allensworth, 2013). A survey was administer to two large groups: students who passed algebra and those students who did not pass and another survey was administered to algebra teachers from a large, urban comprehensive high school.

This survey research is descriptive statistic. The results determined after school extracurricular activities did not have a positive or negative impact on Title I at-risk students passing or failing algebra in a large, urban comprehensive high school. The Chi-square test for independence indicated no significant association between number of hours doing homework, hours spent with after school athletics and fine arts and whether Title I at-risk students passed algebra as a first-semester first time ninth grader in a large, urban comprehensive high school.



Education, At-risk