Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Middle and Secondary Education

First Advisor

Pier A. Junor Clarke, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Nadia Behizadeh, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Robert Hendrick, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Stephanie Smith, Ph.D.


Since 2013, more than half of the Black males at a Southeastern middle school scored below the benchmark of the mandated STAR mathematics assessment. These scores reflected the similar statistics for the nation regarding Black males who scored below the benchmark scores of various assessments (Ravenel, Lambeth, & Spires, 2014). Minor (2016) informed that even Black advanced mathematics students scored significantly lower on assessments than their White colleagues and were more likely to be less than proficient at all mathematics skill domains. As the John King Middle School (JKMS) district began to move toward personalized learning with the purchase of more adaptive learning and technology resources for its students, the researcher decided to explore the effectiveness of its latest purchase and implementation—Redbird Mathematics (Redbird)—and its effect on the achievement of sixth-grade Black males. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of Redbird on the mathematics achievement of sixth-grade Black males. Knowledge Space Theory (Falmagne & Doignon, 1985) guided this quasi-experimental comparative study and compared the STAR mathematics pre- and post-assessment data, GMAS scores, and final mathematics course grades of sixth-grade Black males from the 2014 to 2015 school year—who did not have Redbird as a resource—to the STAR mathematics pre- and post-assessment data, GMAS scores and final mathematics course grades of sixth-grade Black male students in the 2016 to 2017 school year—who consistently used Redbird for at least one hour and a half each week. The results of this study show that Redbird did not have an effect on mathematics achievement at the .05 level, p = .35 (STAR), p = .17 (GMAS), and p = .08 (final course grades) for each achievement indicator. In addition, the categorical independent variable (time spent learning in Redbird) is not a predictor of mathematics achievement, p = 3.25. With the use of independent t-tests, the results suggest that school districts should consider more research on adaptive learning and its effect on mathematics achievement. Extended research may offer insight to current and future interventions used with the hope to increase mathematics achievement among Black American males.