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Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Julian Hayter

Second Advisor

Dr. Javier Hidalgo

Third Advisor

Dr. Tom Shields


Based on historical analysis of primary and secondary sources including newspaper articles and census data, this paper both explains the problems that urban school districts like Richmond Public Schools face, and proposes potential solutions to these challenges. Specifically, I assert that it is impossible to divorce the current problems in RPS from the process of local and national 20th century history. Moreover, I advocate for four interrelated solutions that challenge conventional thinking about testing, standards, and accountability, and that recognize and respect the voices of local people in an effort to promote sustainable change in educational equality and outcomes.