Document Type

Graduate Project

Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2010

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)



Committee Chair

Steven A. Schmitz

Second Committee Member

Steven W. Nourse

Third Committee Member

Don B. Woodcock


In International Baccalaureate (IB) classes at Thomas Jefferson High School, the economic status of students in honors classes does not reflect that of the school as a whole. The author sought ways to bring more students from impoverished backgrounds into rigorous courses. In this school, there is a strong coincidence between etlmic minority status and socioeconomic status. The author believed that in addressing the economic issue the ethnicity issue would also be addressed. This is a practical issue as well as a pedagogical one, because the school's scores on state-wide standardized tests are lower for economically disadvantaged students than for the overall student body. Research is available on helping students from impoverished backgrounds to achieve in school. This project compiled a body of research that will help teachers at Thomas Jefferson to address the needs of economically disadvantaged students.