Graduation Year


Document Type

Ed. Specalist



Degree Granting Department

Interdisciplinary Education

Major Professor

Linda Raffaele Mendez, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Deidre Cobb-Roberts, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Harold Keller, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jeffrey Kromrey, Ph.D.


Choice schools, Cfsei-3, Fcat, Reading, Math


This study evaluated whether differences existed in the academic achievement and self-esteem of African American students in a traditional public school and a choice school. The choice school selected was a technology-focused magnet school. All of the participants were in grades 3-5 and were administered the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) during the 2003-2004 school year. The FCAT was used to assess academic achievement in reading and math while the Culture Free Self-Esteem Inventories ñ Third Edition (CFSEI-3) was used to assess their self-esteem. Demographic information was also collected to identify factors other than school type that contribute to differences in the academic achievement and self-esteem of African American students.

Administrators at both schools helped identify the participants for this study. Seventy parent questionnaires developed to gather demographic information were returned with letters of consent. Students were administered the CFSEI-3 in small groups. Scores from the reading and math subtests of the FCAT were gathered along with school attendance history and free or reduced lunch (FRL) status for each participant.

The results of this study showed that third grade FCAT reading scores approached significance and there were overall statistically significant differences in their FCAT math scores. In both cases students at the Magnet School obtained higher test scores than the Traditional School students. Parental levels of educational achievement were found to be significantly higher at the Magnet School. When this component of the demographic information was statistically controlled differences between children at the two schools were not significant.

Results of the CFSEI-3 indicated no significant differences in academic, general, parental/home, social, or global self-esteems of the participants. Differences in satisfaction between parents at the two schools with regards to their children's academic instruction, the value the schools placed on their child's culture and the influence the school had on their child's self-esteem were also insignificant.

Overall the results of this study provide valuable information about the influence school type has on the academic achievement and self-esteem of minority students. It also suggests areas for future research on factors that contribute to academic achievement and self-esteem outside of the school environment.