This special theme issue provides an in-depth analysis of the educational issues of K-12 students in urban settings and how school professionals (e.g., teachers, school counselors, and administrators) and other stakeholders (i.e., parents, policy makers, education leaders, etc.) can work to promote academic achievement. Given that a plethora of research (Flowers, Milner, & Moore, 2004; Flowers, Zhang, Moore, & Flowers, 2004; Ford & Moore, 2004; Irvine, 2002; Landsman, 2001; Lewis & Moore, 2004; Moore, Ford, & Milner, 2005; Thompson, 2004) has documented that African American students face many academic challenges and personal-social difficulties in urban educational settings, this special theme issue is timely. More specifically, this special theme issue provides cutting-edge research (i.e., quantitative, qualitative, and mixed method designs) to aid educational practitioners and other stakeholders in improving the academic achievement of African American students in urban educational settings. To make this special theme issue applicable to education professionals and other stakeholders, recommendations are provided for the following: (a) teachers; (b) school counselors; (c) administrators; (d) parents; and (e) educational policy makers. Submissions for this special theme issue focuses on a number of issues (i.e., parental involvement, academic motivation, school leadership, high-stakes testing, etc.) that affect African American students in K-16 urban settings.