Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Department Chair

Jessica Kendorski, PhD, NCSP, BCBA-D

First Advisor

Jessica Kendorski, PhD, NCSP, BCBA-D

Second Advisor

Meredith Weber, PhD NCSP

Third Advisor

Rachel Fleitman, PhD


Poor academic achievement among minority students has historically been identified as one of the most pressing challenges of public education (Dorvil, 2011). However, even before the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) adoption, there has been a focus on what should be done to improve the academic achievement of the nation’s children. With each of its subsequent incarnations and legislative renaming, policymakers, educators, and researchers alike have sought to ensure that all children are afforded the opportunity to receive a high-quality education delivered by competent educators enabling them to reach predetermined but vaguely defined levels of proficiency. Despite best efforts, there remains a persistent and observable disparity between the levels of academic performance of minority and nonminority groups. This study attempts to look at them within the context of school/classroom community factors of racial, socioeconomic, and ability stereotype reinforcement and its impact on student achievement and provide an alternative method for addressing these disparities. Specifically, this study will look at the impact of negative social stereotype reinforcements in the form of negative and racially oppressive assumptions, which, when internalized, erode an individual’s enthusiasm and make certain attitudes and behaviors normative. This study will also look at school psychologists' role in identifying and addressing the negative influence that an oppressive classroom environment may have on learning and behavior.