Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education-Educational Leadership (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

Education Leadership & Counseling

First Advisor

Richard Geisel

Academic Year



While the achievement gap that exists between students in schools of varying socioeconomic status is far from a new problem, its increasing presence emphasizes some of the most substantial inequalities in public education today. Though other achievement gaps such as those relating to ethnicity or gender have substantially narrowed in recent years, research shows that the socioeconomic-achievement gap continues to increase (Strand, 2014). Like other ethical dilemmas, acknowledging this problem challenges the notion that all students have access to a free public education because it recognizes that such access is severely unequal. Students who are raised in low-income communities are at a blatant disadvantage because their schools have limited access to the resources utilized in schools supported by communities of higher affluence. The achievement of districts situated in low-income communities such as XYZ Public Schools (a pseudonym) are the byproducts of such a correlation. While plenty of research exists regarding the achievement gap, there is a significant lack of research focused on cost-effective solutions to combatting such a complex problem. XYZ Public Schools and other districts of its type cannot afford to implement solutions that will require additional costs, so proposals must account for such a limitation. Through the synthesis of research-proven techniques, this project develops a three-phase approach by which districts can make minor yet substantial changes to complement the work of their teachers by implementing cost-effective strategies. When implemented correctly, districts can measure the success of the program using the evaluation methods provided, and can anticipate increased levels of student achievement. Because providing a sincerely equal education for all students is simply not realistic, the techniques of this program are specifically created to counteract such detrimental socioeconomic inequalities by working to provide students with the quality of education they rightfully deserve.