Evidence-Supported Interventions Associated with Black Students’ Educational Outcomes: Findings From a Systematic Review of Research

African American student working at a laptop at school

Research shows racial differences in educational access and academic achievement. These data on differences between Black and White students continue to raise concerns among researchers, educators, and policymakers who are seeking levers that might improve educational opportunities and achievement among Black students.

REL Midwest conducted a systematic review of research on interventions that may improve academic outcomes for Black students. The review entailed a search for studies that provide evidence at Tier I (strong evidence), Tier II (moderate evidence), or Tier III (promising evidence) according to the Every Student Succeeds Act, and explicitly mention associations between an intervention and Black students' achievement in math or reading, dropout rates, or graduation rates.

After screening 3,917 studies, REL Midwest identified 24 studies that provided Tier III evidence (promising evidence) supportive of 22 interventions. No studies were identified that provided Tier I or Tier II evidence. The 22 interventions and the studies that provide supportive evidence are presented. These include state-level policy, local district policies, policies and practices in the school community, and teacher practices in the classroom.

Three appendices present (1) literature review methodology, (2) a table that lists the interventions supported by promising evidence, and (3) a table that lists interventions found to have no statistically significant associations with achievement outcomes for Black students or that are associated with unfavorable outcomes for Black students.