Anticipated Date of Graduation

Summer 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mathematical Sciences


Mathematical Sciences

First Advisor

Douglas Darbro


Students are missing out on the benefits of taking higher-level math courses or accessing courses like Precalculus and Calculus. There is significant research that shows that algebra is a major factor and predictor of success in mathematics, college enrollment, and entering science, engineering, technology, and mathematics fields. Since Black students and Hispanics are more likely to be placed in lower-level tracks, they are excluded from high quality instruction that would prepare them for post secondary attendance. The goal should be to increase the participation of students in these courses. This study examined a small honors Algebra 2 class in an urban Midwest school district. The researcher wanted to determine if there were students not selected for the honors Algebra 2 class who would be predicted to succeed in the honors program. Logistic regression was used to create a model using the race of a student and their Algebra 1 standardized test scores to predict success in the honors Algebra 2 course. A Chi-square test of independence was performed to determine if there was any association between race and the success in the honors Algebra 2. Though the sample was small, the results showed that there are students who are capable of succeeding in honors Algebra 2 and there is no relationship between the race of a student and success in the course. The race of a student and Algebra 1 scores are not reliable predictors when deciding whether a student would be successful in honors. The results of the study also showed that White students were more likely to earn grades C- or higher in the honors class than Black students. In order to increase disadvantaged students in higher-level mathematics, the 4 criteria used to select students should be reviewed. Factors other than test scores should be used to predict success. These findings from the study show how important it is to have support for Black students in the honors classroom. Not only do we want these students to benefit from high quality instruction but the students need to do well in these courses to have the proper preparation for post secondary attendance.

Included in

Mathematics Commons