Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Colleen Mulholland, Honors Thesis Advisor


Academic achievement--Iowa--Waterloo; Racism in education;


The Education Debt is largely overlooked in the world of academia. This is despite the fact the Education Debt offers a new lens through which to look at the multiple factors explaining differences in testing scores. While many scholars acknowledge and draw from the Education Debt in their works, it is still often viewed as supplementary to the larger problem of the achievement gap. The purpose of this study is to analyze if Ladson-Billings’ concept is just as applicable and relevant as when she first proposed it. To understand if the Education Debt is still a relevant issue within the United States, it must first be determined if the concept can be applied to areas outside of big cities and large school districts. This study will explore if the concepts of historical, economic, sociopolitical, and moral debt can be applied to the small midwestern city of Waterloo, Iowa (population: ~70,000), and if those debts are still relevant within the city and its Black population today.

Year of Submission



Department of Curriculum and Instruction

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (24 pages)



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