Impact Of The Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) Program On Closing The Academic Achievement Gap
Ford, Charlotte S.
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There is disparity in the quality of school experiences encountered by students of different races, languages, social classes, and communities. There are also systemic issues that affect the quality of education received by students attending schools primarily comprised of students from the lower socioeconomic status and ethnic minorities. Students of color and students from low socioeconomic backgrounds consistently earn lower grades and lower test scores than their peers. Despite many education reform efforts in the 1980s and 1990s, the academic achievement gap continues to persist.AVID program was evaluated as an academic intervention program geared toward closing the academic achievement gap. The study attempted to identify curricular and instructional practices that make a difference in mitigating student achievement differences school-wide. The study was based upon the notion that the students' academic success depended on their ability to negotiate complex, institutionalized power structures, and that school agents taught the students the skills that enhanced the students' ability to navigate education system and succeed at schooling. The research focus was the relationship between student participation in the AVID program and student achievement as well as the relationship between participation in the AVID program and student acquisition of the cultural capital that positively impacted academic success. The study took place in a comprehensive high school containing grades nine through twelve in an urban school district in northeast Texas. The research sample consisted of eight cohorts of students. Four cohorts included students who were in the AVID program, and four included those who were not. Student demographic data, course grades, GPA, and statewide assessment results were obtained form the school's database. The student possession of cultural capital was determined based on teacher responses to a behavioral skills survey. The student groups were compared using success indicators such as GPA, math grades, English grades, and statewide assessment results. Student possession of cultural capital was also used to compare the student groups.The results of the study ARE mixed, yet there is strong evidence to support the positive effects of the AVID program on AVID participants for academic achievement and student possession of cultural capital. The impact that the implementation of the AVID program has as a means to close the academic achievement gap cannot be substantiated.