Despite existing research that demonstrates the benefits of racial diversity in education, the Court has become increasingly disinclined to allow the use of race or ethnicity in education policy targeted to increase race/ethnic diversity, absent a compelling state interest. The debate over the merits of educational diversity has almost exclusively focused on individual-level outcomes, ignoring consequences for society at large. We argue that this restricted conception of the goals of diversity may limit our understanding of how diverse learning opportunities represent compelling societal interests. Using macro-level data of 29 U.S. metropolitan areas, we examine the societal impact of K-12 diversity on an important societal attribute, intergroup social cohesion. This research has the potential to inform education policy and judicial sentiment about diversity as a compelling state interest in an increasingly diverse society.
Drawing insights from a qualitative study with 15 newcomer immigrant students, this article examines the students’ developing understandings of the meaning of diversity in school. Although contradictory, the students’ collective narratives reveal a keen analysis of a complex social setting, in which race, language, and nationality are seen simultaneously as sources of tension and as opportunities for growth. It is proposed that by identifying and linking similar discourses at multiple levels of schools, we could create webs of resistance to frameworks that tend to categorize and exclude.
Minority suburbanization has been a fast growing demographic shift in the United States during the first decade of the 21st century. This article examines the tapestry of the suburbanization experience of a group of high-achieving Black American students and their families as told by them. Departing from the all too common, deficit orientation toward Black American academic performance, we focus on how these families and students negotiate the challenges and opportunities in a highly competitive, liberal school district. Using socio-cognitive acculturation theory superimposed over an ecological framework as theoretical grounding, this study reveals how participants’ dual identity consciousness combined with a strong achievement orientation and adaptive strategies facilitated their acculturation to the suburban academic and post-school success despite challenges.
In Afrocentric circles in the United States, ancient Kemetic (Egyptian) scientist Imhotep is considered the Black father of medicine. In this article, I use his name in the title as an allusion to highlight the lack of Black males matriculating in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs or fields in the United States. The work offers a more appropriate structural Marxist hermeneutical framework for contextualizing, conceptualizing, exploring, and evaluating the locus of causality for the Black/White and Black male/female academic achievement gaps in general, and the lack of Black males in STEM programs in the United States of America in particular. The two I argue are interrelated. Positing that in general the origins of the Black/White and Black male/female academic achievement gap is grounded in what Paul C. Mocombe refers to as a "mismatch of linguistic structure and social class function." Within Mocombe’s structural Marxist theoretical framework, the lack of Black males in STEM programs is a result of the social class functions associated with prisons, the urban street life, and athletics and entertainment industries where the majority of urban Black males are interpellated and achieve their status, social mobility, and economic gain (embourgeoisement) over education and academic professionalization.
In modern society, a large part of the socialization process occurs in schools. Therefore, one of the most significant questions raised with regard to homeschooling concerns the impact of this type of education on the emotional world of the child. However, there is almost no mention in the research of how the nature of the social activity of homeschooled children affects their emotional world. In the present research, we examined the quantity and character of the social interactions of homeschooled children and their influence on the children’s emotional and behavioral problems. The findings suggested a negative correlation between meetings with other homeschooled children and emotional and behavioral problems, and a similar relationship between the child’s number of siblings and such problems. In comparison, we found a relationship between meetings with school-going children and such problems only in the younger age group, and only with regard to problems of internalization.
Knowing how to provide effective literacy instruction is important for all educators, but it is critically important for urban educators. This article is built on the assumption that deepening urban educators’ understanding of the reading process will better equip them to facilitate students’ reading development, and to diagnose and intervene if reading difficulties are discovered. Based on that belief, a discussion of a highly regarded reading model, the Parallel Distributed Processing Model (PDPM), is presented. Classroom implications of the reading model are also discussed. Overall, it is hoped that understanding the reading process through the lens of PDPM will help urban educators promote reading success for all students.
This study profiles tutoring programs that empower urban youth through the coordination and programs of the Regional Institute of Tutorial Education (RITE), a community collaborative of universities, youth agencies, community service organizations, and school districts. Representative members of RITE detail how they address shared urban problems of academic deficits, school dropout, and pregnancy in St. Louis’s urban school districts. Tutoring models of targeted, cross-curricular, collaborative, community directed, and youth-led instruction are described as delivered by Gene Slay’s Boys and Girls Club of St. Louis (GSBGCSTL), the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), the Clayton-Ladue Rotary community service organization, Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), a nationally licensed college preparation program and Conscious Choice (CC), a University of Missouri–St. Louis and St. Louis University student retention and pregnancy prevention program. Data, narratives, and tutoring structures describe how some members of the RITE collaborative assists in addressing the needs of urban schools, both academic and social. The achievements of these RITE members demonstrate how frequently unrecognized and underutilized university and community resources are able to empower urban youth.
Living doubled-up is a form of homelessness that can go undetected by schools, yet the toll it takes on the lives of students is significant. Accordingly, the purpose of this study was to determine how students who live in doubled-up homeless families differ from low-income students who live in permanent housing with regard to demographics, academics, and behavior problems. The study used records from a Northern California school district and a nonexperimental research design to determine how student homelessness predicts various school-related outcomes. Results indicated that doubled-up homeless students earned significantly lower grade point averages (GPAs) and were less likely to graduate on time than students in permanent housing. Doubled-up homeless students were also more likely to have truancy problems. Previous research has mainly focused on more visible forms of student homelessness (e.g., living in shelters, cars, or hotels). Given that this group has been largely avoided by research, our study suggests that this group warrants consideration. School districts need to identify students living in doubled-up families and seek ways to improve their academic experiences.
Insofar as urban school systems that are often identified as ineffective include such a large segment of U.S. P-12 students, it is vital to improve academic success. To provide context, the article first discusses key challenges facing urban schools. Second, the article identifies and briefly reviews a variety of approaches to reform models often employed in efforts to improve student learning in urban schools. Third, the article briefly discusses the importance of principal leadership in relation to school success and an overview of approaches to leadership. Then, the article offers recommendations regarding leadership, instructional leadership, cultural leadership, and change leadership important to urban school reform. The article rounds out with a brief conclusion.
Within the past 5 years, the island of Jamaica has aimed to address social issues through the development of a National Parenting Program. Schools too have taken on this task and have sought to bridge the gap between home and school by working with parents in meaningful and sustainable ways. This small-scale study highlights how two inner-city schools have worked to do this. The data for this study were collected over 4 years during visits to the school for the teaching practice in the final year for students in their teacher education bachelor’s degree programs. Two research questions were used: (a) How has a partnership program between home and school benefited you and your students? And (b) What are the strategies that can be employed by the school to facilitate a smooth, successful reciprocal relationship? From the data collected, three dominant themes emerged from the findings: (a) home–school relations matter, (b) parent empowerment and teacher validation, and (c) understanding diverse cultures.
Urban school districts are comprised of many diverse high school environments including comprehensive neighborhood schools as well as a variety of smaller alternative models that focus on innovative practices, behavior remediation, or academic recovery. In terms of enrollment distribution, urban school districts are increasingly offering nontraditional school placement options for students presenting academic and behavioral difficulty or for students seeking specific curricular emphasis or pedagogy, including—but not limited to—use of school choice voucher programs. In this study, we examined student distribution across school types in one large urban district to investigate enrollment patterns with regard to gender, race, socioeconomic status, and disability status. The results of this cross-sectional analysis indicated significant disproportionality in student demographics within different school types, including overrepresentation of African American students, male students, and students with disabilities in restrictive and segregated alternative schools; overrepresentation of White students and female students in self-selected and innovative alternative schools; and underrepresentation of Hispanic and Asian students in remedial alternative schools. Implications of this disproportionality for policy and practice are discussed.
This study examined the impact of cultural discontinuity on the academic outcomes of Latina/o high school students. Hierarchical multiple regression was utilized to (a) investigate the significant differences between the characteristics and academic outcomes of high school students who do and do not experience cultural discontinuity between their home- and school-based learning and social experiences based on Eurocentric cultural values, and (b) examine the contribution of demographic variables, socio-cultural variables, academic experiences, and cultural discontinuity to students’ cumulative grade point average (GPA) and standardized test scores. Data were collected from two high schools in South Central Texas. Findings revealed that cultural discontinuity had an inverse relationship with GPA; therefore, the more cultural discontinuity based on Eurocentric cultural values that a student experienced, the lower was the student’s GPA.
This quasi-experimental study examines the impact of a mentoring program for low-income and minority middle and high school students displaying early warning indicators of dropping out on attendance, behavior problems, and course passing. The study was conducted over 3 years in five districts throughout the country and used a comparison group identified through propensity score matching. Although students reported positive experiences with mentoring in surveys, significant program effects on student attendance, behavior, and course passing were not found. Such interventions may have little demonstrated effect not only due to implementation issues but also because they do not address school experience variables that influence student outcomes.
What are some strategies for engaging suburban students in dialogues on diversity in new American metropolis? This question is important, especially at a time when some suburbs are changing from "segregated" to "segregated and diverse," and scholarship is needed to guide their discussion. This article analyzes efforts by a suburban school district, municipal agency, and a university to collaborate for this purpose. It draws on work with students in metropolitan Detroit, while framing the effort in terms of its wider significance.
This study measured the level of academic entitlement in college students using a performance promotion goal questionnaire, an academic entitlement group norm questionnaire, a cultural value orientation questionnaire, and an academic entitlement questionnaire, with 297 college students. The research findings of this study could be used to identify teachers’ behavior and class situation factors that could significantly predict the academic entitlement of college students. The academic entitlement group norm could be regarded as a normative mechanism affecting the relationship between individualism and academic entitlement, as well as between performance promotion goals and academic entitlement. Finally, the research results were discussed, and relevant suggestions were proposed for schools, teachers, and future research.
This article explores past and current education testing frameworks as a pretext for constructing a policy platform with the efficacy to transform systems and structures that hinder opportunities and resist equitable practices. The rise of accountability in education public policy has brought about intended and unintended outcomes. As prescribed, it has facilitated a significant measure of uniform clarity regarding standards of learning and mechanisms for measuring teacher and leadership impacts on student outcomes. However, perverse incentives, such as persistent or widening group outcome achievement disparities, demonstrate the need for policy work that extends beyond the identification of expected performance to address the execution of deliverables. More recently, scholars have suggested the need to move from a standards-based reform agenda to a supports-based reform agenda. The policy exploration in this study articulates the presence of an expectation gap—a disconnection between accountability expectations and support availability, identifying and analyzing the components necessary to transform a system of public education, which prioritizes accountability for results to one that also emphasizes the implementation of sound processes, which align the support structures and practices necessary to achieve results.
As cities across the country experience an influx of White and middle- to upper-class residents, new opportunities for the integration of urban schools emerge. Yet crucial challenges persist even when equity and inclusion are a focus for new stakeholders. This article explores the story of a largely White group of parents committed to investing in and reforming their gentrifying neighborhood’s elementary school. Given the numerous tensions that ensued, fostering leadership, equity, and intercultural awareness remains vital to ensuring that the new urban diversity also produces just and inclusive schools.
Neo-liberal ideologies have given parents influence over education. This requires teachers to find ways to engage with parents and use resources for dealing with them. Following Bourdieu’s notion of field, in which different groups struggle over resources to maintain their social position, we examine the relations between teachers’ attitudes toward parents and possession of feminine, social, and cultural capital. The sample comprised 605 who worked in 32 randomly selected schools located in two districts in Israel. Analyzing teachers answered to a questionnaire reveled that teachers’ relations with parents are diverse and include threat and collaboration. Different capitals underpin these relations.
This article assesses the association between the Title I School Improvement Grant (SIG) program’s personnel replacement policy and teacher employment patterns within an urban school district. Hannan and Freeman’s population ecology model allowed the authors to consider schools within districts as individual organizations nested within a larger organization. The data are drawn from employment records of 2,470 teachers who worked in 19 high schools in a single school district from 2006 to 2011. The personnel replacement policy of the Title I SIG program appears to have reinforced, and in some cases intensified, existing patterns of teacher selection, retention, and migration.
The past two decades have witnessed a rapid increase of immigrant population in U.S. schools. Little is known, however, about factors that promote cross-cultural experiences, academic achievement, and/or challenges of Black African immigrant youth, which is particularly significant today in the midst of the current social and political discourse over the influence of immigration in U.S. schools. Sixty Ghanaian-born immigrant students were recruited and interviewed. Analyses, which draw from in-depth interviews and observations, revealed that resilience to succeed, teacher and parent support, positive school environment, past histories including educational experiences, and challenging factors of racism, classism, xenophobia, acculturative stress, changes in curriculum, language, and cultural discrimination emerged as the major factors that largely influenced academic achievement of these learners. This article discusses the implications of these findings for educators who are tasked to render better educational settings for Black African immigrant students to succeed in U.S. schools.
Illinois education policymakers have adopted the completion agenda that emphasizes increasing postsecondary credential attainment. Meeting completion agenda goals necessitates addressing the achievement gap. To aid in developing policy to support improved completion, this study analyzes a comprehensive statewide dataset of the 2003 Illinois high school graduating class attending 4-year institutions using Cox regression survival analysis. Study findings indicate that African American (0.768 odds ratio) and Hispanic students (0.746) were significantly less likely to complete a baccalaureate degree within 7 years of graduating from high school when compared with their White peers. Furthermore, significance held regardless of income level. Several factors significantly related to improved likelihood of baccalaureate completion were identified including high school composite American College Testing (ACT) score, dual credit and advanced placement (AP) course taking, type of curriculum, ACT English and mathematics scores, and completing the ACT core curriculum. Analysis was conducted by race and income to compare the differences in significance across these groups.
This conceptual article synthesizes the empirical research on punitive environmental norms of schools and the disproportionate effects on certain child and adolescent groups, particularly within urban schools. This involvement has come to be known as the school-to-prison pipeline. The young people affected by harsh school discipline protocols and involved formally with the juvenile courts share a number of common vulnerabilities. A review of these common risk factors that children and adolescents experience is presented first. This is followed by identification of which child and adolescent groups are disproportionately involved in the pipeline: the impoverished, those of color, maltreatment victims, students with special education disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender.
The sectarian structure of the Lebanese political system has contributed to periods of sectarian violence and wars over the past four decades. This article highlights the origin of sectarianism in Lebanon and discusses how public and religious schools in the country have reinforced sectarian divisions in the Lebanese society. This is a conceptual article showing that the existing poor educational policies and approaches have de-emphasized national identity and permitted the establishment of religiously segregated schools leading to the growth of sectarian divisions among the Lebanese communities. Better educational approaches are thus necessary for the creation of responsible and socially aware citizens, as well as a culture of tolerance within the country. The article proposes educational reforms, such as the greater implementation of citizenship education, the diversification of school communities, and the promotion of interaction among students from different religious backgrounds as an effective strategy that can build social cohesion and reduce future sectarian violence in Lebanon. As Lebanon is highly susceptible to regional and internal political crises, a long-term educational strategy must be developed to protect children from future hazards of sectarian hatred and violence.
The convergence of standards, accountability, and school finance policies necessitates a systematic rethinking about how state-level resource allocation policies can be created to distribute resources in a manner that provides equal educational opportunities for all students. Given the demand for policymakers to distribute adequate resources to improve schools’ capacities to increase student learning, there is a need for evidence detailing the effects of those educational resources on student achievement. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to discern the effects of educational resources on student achievement using structural equation modeling. Using data from a southeastern state in the United States, the authors offer resource allocation policy recommendations that align with the state’s constitutional obligation to provide equality of educational opportunity, particularly for students living in poverty.
The children of immigrants’ educational progress and success have been the focus of social research for decades. Although it is known that extracurricular activities contribute to adolescent development and overall well-being, it is also clear that participation varies across immigrant generations. Yet, empirical study explaining generational differences in extracurricular activities across different racial/ethnic groups is limited. This study uses data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) to investigate if family characteristics (i.e., socioeconomic status, structure, parental supervision, and parent–child communication and interaction) explain generational extracurricular activity participation for four racial/ethnic groups (Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians). Findings indicate that family characteristics indeed mediate the children of immigrants’ participation in school extracurricular activities. Moreover, results also denote that family characteristics are particularly relevant for Hispanic children of immigrants’ extracurricular activity participation.
This article analyzes the narrative experiences of Hmong American adolescent males who were labeled at risk or high risk for academic failure or underperformance by their predominantly White school counselors and teachers. Additional data sources included classroom observations at two racially diverse public high schools and semi-structured interviews with two White American female classroom teachers to ascertain how the "at-risk" label manifested in everyday practices ranging from classroom management/discipline methods, instructional decisions, interpersonal interactions, referrals, and tracking practices. The findings will highlight how the "at-risk" label along with a range of other deficit-based expectations intersected with several problematic assumptions about Asian American masculinities and Hmong American culture that suggested that in general, White school personnel were not aware of how their understandings of racial deviance and difference shaped how they assessed, diagnosed, and interacted with these students. Critically, the "at-risk" label had direct implications for tracking the youth participants into non-college-preparatory tracks including pathways toward alternative, remedial, and special education, or in one case, juvenile detention. Implications are offered for practice and theory.
Academic self-efficacy reflects an adolescent’s level of confidence or belief that she or he can successfully accomplish educational assignments and tasks, which are also argued to be a fundamental factor in educational progress and success. Little is known, however, about the academic self-efficacy that the children of immigrants have, which is particularly relevant today in the midst of the current social, political, and economic debate over the influence of immigration in U.S. public schools. Segmented assimilation theory guides this study’s understanding of the children of immigrants’ academic self-efficacy. Analyses, which draw from the Educational Longitudinal Study of 2002 and multilevel analyses, indeed reveal imperative findings. Most notably, the association between academic self-efficacy and assimilation is moderated by gender, race, and ethnicity. This article also discusses the importance of understanding the schooling of the children of immigrants in the educational system.
The question of how school choice programs affect the racial stratification of schools is highly salient in the field of education policy. We use a student-level panel data set to analyze the impacts of the Louisiana Scholarship Program (LSP) on racial stratification in public and private schools. This targeted school voucher program provides funding for low-income, mostly minority students in the lowest-graded public schools to enroll in participating private schools. Our analysis indicates that the vast majority (82%) of LSP transfers have reduced racial stratification in the voucher students’ former public schools. LSP transfers have marginally increased stratification in the participating private schools, however, where just 45% of transfers reduce racial stratification. In those school districts under federal desegregation orders, voucher transfers result in a large reduction in traditional public schools’ racial stratification levels and have no discernible impact on private schools. The results of this analysis provide reliable empirical evidence on whether or not parental choice harms desegregation efforts in Louisiana.
The study examines the combined effects of key elements in parental leadership on academic performance. In the wake of inadequate learning resources, parental leadership becomes an indispensable learning input for children’s academic performance. The discourse utilized data collected from 2005 to 2010 in a longitudinal study involving 1,549 children who sat for the national standardized examination in Kenya. Our findings showed that monitoring and aspirations are essential elements of parental leadership and have direct and positive effect on children’s learning achievement. The effects were stronger among children from urban informal settlements compared with those from urban formal settlements. The effect of parental aspiration on children’s performance was mediated through parental support and monitoring in informal settlements. The study provides evidence on the extent to which parental leadership enhances academic performance. This is useful to parents, teachers, and policy makers in their efforts to secure effective mechanisms for improving learning outcomes.
This article presents an evaluation of the first 2 years of a research-based summer learning program that provided self-selected and developmentally appropriate books to students in low-income and low-resource elementary schools by a local philanthropic organization in a large urban district. The evaluation found evidence of a positive effect of participation in the program on the state year-end standardized reading assessment but found no statistically significant effects on the proximal measures of reading achievement in the fall after summer vacation. The article also provides an analysis of implementation of the program and lessons learned that could be useful to other organizations that are interested in implementing similar programs.
Delaware has long played a pivotal role in the nation’s struggle to end school segregation and promote educational equality. This article discusses racial disparities in educational achievement and outcomes by examining the state’s political history and the politics of race in public education. This article explores educational disparities from a socio-political perspective, which takes into consideration the direct and indirect influence of historical, political, socio-economic, and socio-cultural events on educational achievements and outcomes in the state. It finds that Black students in urban areas are influenced more by the politics of race in public education than Black students in non-urban school environments in the state. It also shows that the educational achievement and outcomes of Black students are influenced more by the politics of race than White students. It suggests that the politics of race in public education is influenced by political factors that extend well beyond those associated with the process of educating.
This meta-analysis of 28 studies examines the relationship between parental involvement and the academic achievement and school behavior of Latino pre-kindergarten-college-age children. Analyses determined the effect sizes for parental involvement overall and specific categories of involvement. Results indicate a significant relationship between parental involvement and academic achievement and overall outcomes, but not for school behavior. This relationship between involvement and academics existed both for younger (grades K-5) and older (secondary school and college freshman) students, as well as for certain specific components of parental involvement. Parental involvement, as a whole, was associated with better school outcomes by .52 of a standard deviation unit. The significance of these results is discussed.
Civic knowledge and participation are low among all students, but this pattern is even more pronounced for those who are poor, belong to a racial or ethnic minority group, or reside in a disadvantaged community. One remedy for this resulting "civic empowerment gap" is a call for teaching more effective civics classes in urban public schools. An open issue concerns identifying substantive topics to engage these students whose personal experiences may lead them to question the legitimacy of government officials. The present study examines a program that teaches constitutional law with an emphasis on civil liberties in urban public high schools. The findings obtained suggest that regular contact with school security and police increases students’ interest in learning about their rights and ways to empower themselves in these situations. These results may be used to identify course topics to promote civic engagement.
This study examines the impact of school closures on the sociospatial distribution of equitable access to schooling following the school closure policy pursued by the Chicago Public Schools in 2013. By examining access in terms of proximity between students and schools, the study estimates the changes in accessibility before and after school closings. The change in accessibility is compared with density maps constructed around a number of variables, including population aged 5 through 14 by race and ethnicity, proportion of families with children younger than 18 years old below the poverty level, and crime incidence during the previous 12 months. The overall results suggest that school closing may cause sociogeographic inequality in access to education.
This article examines how martial arts students retell their stories about being left behind and how they have experienced, viewed, and struggled with the invisible violence. Popularly known as the "hometown of Chinese martial arts," Dengfeng is home to 48 registered martial arts schools and more than 70,000 full-time students. Drawing on 12-month-long fieldwork, this article highlights how martial arts students have (re)constructed the meaning of home(lessness) through bridging their past as left-behind children and the present as martial arts students. This article argues that such redefining of home(lessness) is resulted not only from the practice of invisible violence but also from how martial arts students engage with the structural, symbolic, and normalized violence.
While much has been written about preparing educational leaders to lead for social justice, much less has been written about how to do so. This study is one of the first to analyze the reflections and written assignments of aspiring administrators to determine what they are currently thinking about poverty, race/ethnicity, and social justice leadership and how that thinking is shaped throughout one course. Results indicate that students were variable in their individual reflections, but that assignments, which required them to analyze the inequities in their schools and develop an implementation plan, led all of these aspiring administrators to seek to redress those inequities. The article discusses implications for other programs, which prepare educational leaders.
The racial discipline gap—the finding that Black and Latino students are more likely to be disciplined at school than White students, and often more harshly—has implications for students’ academic success. This study concluded that differences in students’ behavior do not fully explain the disproportionate likelihood that Black students are disciplined for fighting at school. Black students were found to be significantly more likely than White students to be cited for physical fights in schools.
This mixed-methods study examined teacher preparation for developing family partnerships. The attitudes and practices of teacher educators and the attitudes and experiences of student teachers were explored in focus groups, documents, and a survey instrument. Results indicated that although partnerships were considered important by faculty and students, both groups were concerned with the difficulties teachers may experience with parents. The subject university is committed to diversity and requires a field experience in a multi-cultural community. Although teacher educators expressed strong concerns about teaching candidates to work with parents from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, they voiced doubts regarding their own ability to educate students regarding families from different cultures. The teacher candidates seemed relatively unaware of the importance of engaging diverse families in a partnership. There was evidence that, in the minds of student teachers, whatever problems existed were attributable to the parents. On an item about the beliefs of parent involvement, student teachers appear to have less positive views of diverse parents than do teacher candidates surveyed at the beginning of their preparation. Basically, candidates were focused on giving information to parents and not on creating reciprocal relationships. Results suggest that field experiences in culturally diverse settings are not enough and must be accompanied by class discussion. Graded assignments, and authentic experiences with opportunities to examine beliefs and attitudes toward families from diverse backgrounds in courses and field experiences are needed.
This article provides a discussion of the book, Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities by Martha C. Nussbaum from the perspective of a visiting scholar to the United States from China. It begins by addressing two critical topics discussed by Nussbaum: consequences of focusing only on economic growth and the importance of humanistic values. The article then incorporates the voices of other scholars as it considers implications of Nussbaum’s work. The article concludes by suggesting service-learning as a means of accomplishing the educational goals proposed by Nussbaum.
Access to higher education has increased substantially in Latin America, but inequalities in access to and completion of higher education still remain. In this regard, identifying vulnerable groups and exclusion factors is a priority in Latin America’s university systems. The aim of this article is to understand in depth governing board perceptions of exclusion factors in higher education institutions in Latin America. The study has identified five key factors that help better understand exclusion from higher education in Latin America: (a) personal characteristics, (b) family situation, (c) institutional features, (d) public policies, and (e) phases of university students’ development.
This article presents both sides of the debate as to whether urban teachers need structure or freedom, and then takes a stand on urban teaching in the current high-stakes assessment climate. First, we trace the 30-year development of American educational policy in the area of structuring teaching. Then, we present research from proponents of structuring the work of teaching, who argue that education, and particularly urban education, needs to be standardized and monitored. We then share literature from teacher freedom proponents who argue that educators need to adapt their curriculum and pedagogical approaches based on students’ needs and their own professional judgment. We conclude by arguing that urban teaching needs to be structured to promote freedom, in light of recent developments in the often-ignored fields of neuroscience and neuropsychology.
This article presents findings of a qualitative, interpretive case study of the experiences of 1.5- and 2nd-generation West African immigrants who self-identify as pursuing the American Dream, defined by them as academic attainment and career success. Employing structuration theory, the authors examine the interplay between structures and agency in participants’ educational and professional decision making. Participants’ perspectives on the American Dream are filled with references to dominant narratives of hard work, economic success, and the power of formal education. At the same time, findings illuminate a conceptual shift in understanding the nature of hard work and personal freedom experienced in pursuit of the American Dream as participants recognized that as African immigrants, they had to work harder to achieve the Dream while highlighting the role and influence of family expectations and schooling structures. Their expanded notions of the Dream include understandings of individual agency, social supports and constraints, and cultural forces.
A university partnered with the New York City Department of Homeless Services (NYC DHS) to provide cohorts of adults a 60-credit Associate Degree Program in Business Administration over a 2-year period. Results of two cohorts of 30 Advantage Academy Program graduates revealed significant improvement in College Board AccuPlacer (ACPL) Arithmetic results and grade point averages (GPAs) near the 3.0 cumulative average. Eleven Cohort I completers also revealed a significant positive change in self-efficacy based on pre/post-administration of two scales whereas 19 Cohort II completers did not show evidence of such a change. Information is provided for 44 non-completers as well. Eighteen graduates have been employed as managers or in a customer service field related to the business major. With the third cohort graduation completed in May 2014, this is the first comprehensive and sustainable higher education program of its kind for homeless adults to help them end cycles of poverty and agency alliance.
This article emphasizes the role of parental involvement in the college preparation of Latino elementary and secondary school students. Although literature shows that education is highly valued in Latino families, actual college enrollment rates for Latino youth are below average. This has been attributed to barriers including lack of financial resources, problems in communication with schools, and low familiarity with the college planning process. The American Dream Academy is a university outreach program that is designed to help Latino families overcome these barriers. We conducted a qualitative analysis of speeches that were prepared and delivered by parents at graduation ceremonies of the program from 2007 to 2009. Our analysis revealed six themes: facing challenges, envisioning success, understanding the school system, taking ownership, community raising a child, and creating a supportive home environment. The findings enrich existing literature and help understand the complex systems that are at play with parental involvement in Latino families.
Building upon previous research on how personal and demographic characteristics of teachers are correlated with larger issues in teacher recruitment and retention, this study contributes unique insight into the personal attributes, characteristics, and career aspirations of new teachers brought into teaching in Los Angeles through the Teach For America program. Drawing from ethnographic interviews with 25 current Teach For America teachers, this study finds that teachers in this study perceive themselves as embodying personal characteristics that prior research would support as less common among teachers in urban schools: That is, they see themselves as being competitive, high-performing, and enthusiastically committed to ending educational inequality. However, these participants tend to come from privileged backgrounds and colleges and consequently view their time teaching in urban schools as an interim period before pursuing other more "high prestige" careers. Implications of these findings are discussed.
"Education Before Liberation" became the mantra of the struggle against apartheid oppression in South Africa. Apartheid policies predestined the Black majority to servitude and dehumanization. The advent of democracy heralded a plethora of transformative curriculum policies with the express intent to counter the destiny that the Apartheid regime had envisioned for the Black majority. The current curriculum canon which is premised on the tenets of critical pedagogy espouses the ideals of social justice and democracy, and embodies the intent to educate for liberation and social transformation. This article addresses the central question: How do the material tensions of enacting critical pedagogical tenets manifest in post-apartheid South African education through the narratives of educators as transformative intellectuals? In responding to this enquiry, in this article I will (a) sketch an analysis of teachers’ identities as enshrined in retrospective and current curriculum policies; and (b) draw on data from a qualitative study conducted at schools in Johannesburg, South Africa, to explore educators’ personal and professional narratives of pleasure and pain as they persevere in being transformative intellectuals within disadvantaged school communities in an emerging democracy. This article argues that if the ideals of democracy is central to the curriculum for students, then the education system needs to ensure that the personal and professional wellbeing of teachers should form an integral part of the human rights discourse.
We compared the performance of Hispanic students from California, Texas, and Arizona on the two Advanced Placement (AP) English exams (i.e., English Language and Composition and English Literature and Composition) using archival data from the College Board from 1997 through 2012. Pearson chi-square tests yielded statistically significant differences in all 16 comparisons for the English Language and Composition exams and in 15 of the 16 comparisons for the English Literature and Composition exams. Students from Arizona had the highest passing rate in 21 comparisons, California had the highest passing rate in 11 comparisons, and Texas had the lowest passing rate in all 32 comparisons. The majority of Hispanic students who took an AP English exam failed to earn a score that would result in college credit. Implications of our findings are discussed.
School climate research has indicated a relationship between the climate of a school and academic achievement. The majority of explanatory models have been developed in urban schools with less attention given to suburban schools. Due to the process of formation of suburban schools, there is a likelihood these campuses differ from the traditional urban school. The current study examined the predictive value of suburban school climate on academic achievement in a nationally representative sample of suburban campuses. The findings indicate behavior and racial/ethnic composition may impact achievement levels in suburban schools. The findings also indicate the location of the school and the surrounding crime may be a factor in suburban academic achievement.
Since 1990, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP) has enabled low and middle-income parents to attend private Milwaukee schools at state expense. In 2010, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction released, for the first time, results of newly required state standardized tests for students using the MPCP. This article uses an original data set from Milwaukee’s two-decade-old private school voucher program to test several hypotheses on the impact of the first public release of test scores on school enrollment patterns. Specifically, the article uses quantitative methods to test (a) whether enrollment decreased at lower performing schools, (b) whether low-performing schools were more likely to close compared with higher performing schools, and (c) whether historical school-level growth patterns were significantly different after the release of test scores. The article finds that enrollment increases at higher performing schools were larger than at low-performing schools. However, the link between test scores and enrollment patterns disappears after controlling for available school-level characteristics. The analysis provides a first peek at how a transparency intervention affects enrollment patterns in an education marketplace.
The educational landscape for schools in the United States is continuing to shift with the arrival of refugee students with limited or interrupted formal education, especially at the secondary schools. As refugee students with limited or interrupted formal education (SLIFE) adjust to schools in the United States, they may experience acculturative stress, migration stress, and stress of learning a new language. Teachers play an essential role in providing support to help immigrant and refugee students adjust. Caring should be at the core of education. For ethical care to occur, teachers need to see themselves as "responsible for empowering their students." This article reports on an ethnographic research study of a newcomer classroom with refugee SLIFE in an urban secondary school. The participant teacher in this study exhibited ethical care toward refugee SLIFE and provided positive classroom experiences for SLIFE, which is a critical step toward betterment of educational experiences for them. However, caring by itself does not provide the necessary support needed for the refugee SLIFE’s success in U.S. schools.
Described is a 4-year model of a Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program (GEAR UP) offered to 294 academically and economically disadvantaged students and their parents during in- and out-of-school time activities through partnerships forged with school personnel and community-based agencies. In an urban high school where the annual graduation rate was below 60%, the graduation rate of the GEAR UP students of whom 60% were Hispanic and African American was 95%, while 58% enrolled in a postsecondary institution soon after graduation. Regardless of the time spent in three participatory conditions in the out-of-school time activities, 12th graders commonly believed that the program significantly helped them complete high school, prepared them for college, and showed them that adults cared about their future. A five-item survey completed by parents also revealed a number of highly significant findings. Quantitative, focus group, and interview findings corroborated and supported each other.
Facilitating economically disadvantaged students’ access to higher education is an important goal of educational policy. However, some practices toward this goal are based on theories and assumptions not informed by the students’ conditions or needs. The purpose of this study was to understand the challenges faced by students from high poverty, urban high schools in their yearning for a college education. Analyses of interview and observation data from a yearlong study in six high-poverty schools revealed that economically disadvantaged students face contextual challenges that necessitate additional efforts and resources not required by others, including money, time, knowledge, courage, sacrifice, and taking risks. The findings are discussed in light of Bourdieu’s theory of capital in education. Implications for educational policy and practice are outlined, including increased attention to non-psychological, structural factors impacting college attainment such as systemic and cumulative disadvantage resulting from lack of various forms of capital.
Community schools represent a school reform approach that purports to address the multifaceted and intertwined challenges faced by poor urban communities and schools. The community school approach includes partnering with community organizations, making the school a community hub where services are provided during and outside of the school day, and targeting broad student, family, and community outcomes. This study examines one of the primary components of community schools, school- and community-sponsored extracurricular programming, and its relationship to academic achievement. The study was performed at an urban community school serving Grades 7 through 12. Descriptive analyses indicated high levels of participation and variation in participation, and academic achievement by demographic group. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that both school- and community-sponsored program participation were significant predictors of academic achievement. Implications of the results and future directions for research are discussed.
The purpose of our study was to examine mathematics and science pre-service teachers’ perceptions of their mentoring experiences during their 1st year in the Teaching Residency Program for Critical Shortage Areas, an initiative designed to recruit, prepare, and retain teachers for high-need urban schools. Results from this mixed-methods study illustrated pedagogical aspects and mentor characteristics that enhanced and impeded pre-service teachers’ growth and development. Therefore, professional development, especially working with adults, must also include frequent monitoring of the mentoring relationships to identify problematic situations. Our findings also suggested that an extended field experience helps deter deficit thinking about a diverse student population. The dynamics of teaching alongside a mentor through a residency program, coupled with the challenges of an urban setting, provide an opportunity for researchers to continue to examine pre-service teachers’ development and to identify effective practices to build mentor capacity.
This study’s purpose was to examine the self-efficacy of preservice teachers throughout an immersive learning semester and compare it with a control group. The study suggests that a community-based immersive program supports preservice teacher efficacy development within the dynamic cultural context of families and schools. The immersive learning participants’ (n = 32) teacher efficacy was assessed thrice and compared with a traditional on-campus program (n = 64). Using the Teacher Sense of Efficacy Scale, results revealed significant improvement in the Immersive group across time in all three areas (Engagement, Management, and Instruction). Comparison of net gains between groups suggests that an immersive and supportive environment promotes preservice teacher efficacy development even in the midst of a socio-cultural gap between preservice teachers and students.
This article identifies seven specific attitudes, behaviors, and skills among academically successful urban Black students and explores the relationship to their achievement. This study examines the academic achievement of 157 Black students and finds that when specific Successful Learner Characteristics are present, above-average academic achievement is likely to result. This research further determines that when urban Black students demonstrate these characteristics they also share in greater responsibility for their own learning. Finally, this study concludes that there may be less of an "achievement gap" than there is a gap in attitudes, behaviors, and skills that lead to academic achievement.
This study examined the roles and responsibilities of family liaisons working in urban schools with enrollments characterized by high poverty, high mobility, and ethnic diversity. Results indicated that the major responsibilities of the liaisons were creating a trusting and welcoming environment, facilitating parent involvement in the school, keeping parents informed on school-related topics, and connecting parents with resources. During job shadows, family liaisons were primarily observed coordinating parent involvement activities, interacting with students, performing routine office tasks, and carrying out other duties as assigned (e.g., cafeteria supervision). To increase their effectiveness, the liaisons requested greater job clarity, more flexibility in their formal work hours, and less time spent on other duties as assigned. In general, it appeared that the family liaisons investigated in this study placed a stronger emphasis on creating a welcoming environment and establishing trust than has been found in research on family liaisons in more affluent communities.
While studies have shown the positive effect of the Advanced Placement (AP) program on college readiness, there are still barriers preventing minority and low socioeconomic status (SES) students who possess high academic potential from participating in the opportunity that AP courses offer. One tool that could help identify students for participation in AP courses is their Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) results. Results from multiple regression analyses suggest that portions of the PSAT are significant predictors of AP test performance above and beyond student ethnicity and/or SES.
The story presented here developed from a study group where we found space to explore and analyze ourselves and each other. In recounting our development from a Community of Interest to a Community of Practice (CoP), we first introduce a guiding theoretical framework building on a foundation of two concepts: CoP and transracialized selves. We then present a series of alternating methods and findings, reflecting our development through two phases. We recount the formation of our group and the decision to develop individual narratives; the findings from these methods are presented as six narratives recounting individual wrestlings with our racialized selves. We then describe our methods for analyzing these narratives as a group and conclude with the findings from that communal analysis. We close with implications for others who might find a similar process valuable.
Race and class often marginalize students in impoverished urban neighborhoods, and this reality is evident in consistently low student achievement in many of the schools in these neighborhoods. This study examines how a teacher’s sense of agency can help mediate the detrimental impact of poverty on student achievement. Teachers in a large Northeastern urban school district (N = 1,019) were surveyed about how they perceive obstacles to student learning. The study shows that the ways in which teachers think about obstacles to student learning are strong predictors of student achievement regardless of poverty level. The study suggests ways teachers can achieve a greater sense of agency in the classroom.
A meta-analyses was undertaken to determine the factors that are most related with reducing the achievement gap. The meta-analysis included 30 studies that examined attempts to bridge the achievement gap between White students on one hand and Black and Latino students on the other. The results indicate that several factors are associated with a reduced achievement gap that could help bridge the gap. A number of these factors go beyond the bounds of the school. These findings suggest that social scientists may need a broad and multidisciplinary approach to the achievement gap, in which they consider a variety of factors can potentially reduce the gap. In addition, the results suggest that social scientist may consider combining educational, psychological, and sociological factors to develop a more comprehensive approach to narrowing the achievement gap. The significance of these results is discussed.
This study examined middle-class mothers’ engagement in urban school selection as residents of two gentrifying neighborhoods in Atlanta, Georgia. Gentrifiers levy social capital when activating or exercising agency and create social networks that valorize child-rearing concerns through exchange of information. Thirty mothers with children under the age of 5 in the initial stages of school selection participated in the study. Empirical data were collected about their social networks using an open-ended interviewing technique. A four-part typology of parent-gentrifiers was created to identify levels of agency operating within networks. While the mothers expressed an equity agenda honoring educational diversity, actual school-selection outcomes belied their liberal intentions.
Engagement in and transitions between academic institutions may be enhanced for African American urban youth if we consider the role of religiosity, spirituality, and places of worship. This article presents the manner by which African American university students, who attended public high schools, conveyed the influence of their religious and spiritual beliefs on their academic aspirations, engagement, and achievement. Further, these students described how their connections to and support from places of worship assisted them in their educational endeavors. The data from this study, in conjunction with previous research, demonstrate the importance of knowing students’ social and contextual support for academic endeavors beyond the family and school. This type of information has the potential to assist school personnel in knowing, advising, and supporting students.
This study investigates how the college readiness of participants in a compensatory program designed to facilitate interest in science and engineering was determined. Archival data were used to qualitatively analyze the performance reports of 205 student participants during the compensatory program’s first 5 years. Findings indicate participants were evaluated favorably for maintaining a positive disposition toward coursework regardless of their actual numeric scores. Consequently, many participants, whose numeric scores made them less viable candidates, were recommended for admission to college. Because 95% of the students participating in the program were African American, this article highlights how context-specific evaluation can reduce biases encountered by this population when colleges rely on traditional measures of achievement to determine college readiness.
Calls for the recruitment and retention of more Black male teachers have unfolded amid popular depictions of Black men as patriarchal disciplinarians. Against that backdrop, this article investigates how 11 Black male teachers were positioned as disciplinary agents in a predominantly Black urban school district on the east coast of the United States. As they described the discipline-related expectations they encountered in their jobs, study participants critiqued and complicated prevailing perceptions of Black male teachers as authoritarian disciplinarians for Black students. Through careful analyses of participants’ narratives, this article offers new insights into how Black male teachers negotiate their roles as disciplinarians, and it raises several questions that could drive future efforts to understand and support Black male teachers’ disciplinary practices in today’s urban schools.
The purpose of the current study was to describe and explain the views on teaching English Language Learners (ELLs) held by six elementary physical education (PE) teachers in the Midwest region of the United States. Situated in positioning theory, the research approach was descriptive–qualitative. The primary sources of data were face-to-face interviews, and the transcript data were analyzed using NVivo 8 software and constant comparative method. The recurrent themes that emerged from the data were as follows: (a) pedagogical challenges; (b) traumatized; (c) irritations, frustrations, and expectations; and (d) cultural dissonance. These themes reflect the teachers’ positioning that teaching ELLs is difficult and complicated. There is pressing need for PE teacher candidates and practicing teachers to receive professional preparation and development training in implementing culturally and ethnolinguistically relevant pedagogies effectively.
Debates about the national high school graduation rate have heated up as various national high school graduation estimates based on the Common Core of Data (CCD) and the Current Population Survey (CPS) do not coincide with one another partially due to different assumptions about graduation age. This study found that (a) while graduation rate by age 18 declined, the rate by age 24 remained relatively constant, creating larger differences between the CCD- and CPS-based rates and that (b) males and minorities particularly take more time to obtain a high school degree among the recent birth cohorts.
This mixed-methods study analyzes the induction programs for alternate route beginning teachers in low socioeconomic, urban schools. The researcher surveyed 53 teachers at the end of their first year and conducted six in-depth follow-up interviews. The study found that half the teachers did not receive an induction program congruent with state guidelines. Further analysis showed that having an inconsistently implemented program had more negative effects than having no program at all for survey respondents and had no effect for those interviewed. The study found that teachers want mentors who respond quickly, care about their success, are flexible, and engender trust. Almost half of survey respondents and all of the interviewed teachers reported that their induction program had no effect on their decision to continue teaching. Finally, the data suggest that teachers may be staying in teaching even if they are unhappy with their jobs and the profession.
Service-learning has the potential to create mutually beneficial relationships between schools and communities, but little research explores service-learning from the community’s perspective. The purpose of this study was to (a) understand how community-based organizations (CBOs) benefited from partnering with students and (b) examine whether organizational capacity (e.g., organization size) or employee vision (e.g., belief in the abilities of children) had a greater impact on the extent to which organizations benefited from their partnerships. The sample consisted of 129 CBOs that received a grant from K-12 students engaged in a service-learning program. Organizational capacity was more predictive of CBO behaviors, such as involving students in service projects and interacting with students, whereas employee vision was more predictive of positive CBO beliefs, such as the future potential of their partnership. This study helps service-learning practitioners and researchers understand how to better support CBOs that wish to form meaningful partnerships with schools.
The Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, hip hop of the 1980s and early 1990s, and spoken word poetry have each attempted to initiate the dialogical process outlined by Paulo Freire as necessary in overturning oppression. Each art form has done this by critically engaging with the world and questioning dominant systems of power. However, unlike the Black Arts Movement and early hip hop, spoken word—with its growing foothold in urban classrooms and contemporary culture—may be in a unique position to facilitate unprecedented social change by providing students with a platform from which to question and negotiate the conditions of their lives.
This study examined the relationship between perceived teacher support and overall life satisfaction (LS) in a sample of urban middle school students. Based on correlations between measures of student perceptions related to these constructs, results indicated that student perceptions of teacher support correlated significantly with LS, with the highest correlation demonstrated between Informational Support and LS (r = .33). Linear regression analyses also indicated that teacher Informational Support contributed most significantly to LS variance. Student grade was identified as a moderating variable. Implications of these findings for teachers and other school staff are discussed within the context of including school climate factors in comprehensive school review plans for maximizing student functioning.
We examine what factors predict why some parents enroll their children in voucher schools while other parents with similar types of children and from similar neighborhoods do not. Furthermore, we investigate how aware parents are of their educational options, where they get their information, and what school characteristics they deem the most important. To answer these questions, we analyze the school choice patterns in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program. Using survey data, we compare responses from a representative sample of voucher parents and a matched sample of public school parents. While public school parents have higher incomes than voucher parents do, voucher parents have more years of education on average. We find that parents in both sectors rely heavily on their social networks to gain information about school options. Finally, we conclude that religion plays an important role in explaining why some parents use vouchers while others do not.
Preparing new teachers to work in urban schools has become a priority for many teacher education programs. This study explored 20 preservice teachers’ responses to a scenario about working in an urban school as a beginning teacher. Specific attention was placed on what participants believed were key challenges and concerns. Findings indicated that participants who exhibited interest in urban school teaching and those who did not shared similar concerns about urban teaching. These views suggest specific curricular approaches for teacher educators.
Suburban school districts have undergone significant demographic shifts over the past several decades. However, limited research exists that explores how suburban district leaders are responding to such changes, and what factors may shape their responses. To better understand how districts within these communities are responding to suburban diversification, we conducted a qualitative case study of a large and rapidly changing suburban district. We interviewed top-level district administrators, principals, and teachers at three case study schools that were undergoing particularly rapid demographic shifts. We found that instead of directly addressing issues of race in the district, the district’s response was colorblind in design: It was racially conscious of changes in student demographics, but its practices to address these changes were race-neutral. Findings suggest that districts must assert a framework for responding to issues of race in the face of demographic change.
Guided by New Structuralism theory, this work examines the context of novice teacher socialization as it relates to their attitudes regarding teacher unionism. Using survey data gathered from novice elementary and middle school teachers and their veteran colleagues across 10 districts, we identify differences between novice teachers and their veteran colleagues in their evaluation of union practices, and the extent to which novices’ evaluation of union practices are shaped by their interactions with their colleagues. The findings from this study have implications for understanding how novice teachers evaluate teacher unionism and the extent to which they are socialized into their local teacher unions through their collegial relationships.
In Phase I, expectations for parental involvement were evaluated in a Title I school with a history of low reading achievement. Interviews were conducted with the principal, parent liaison, two first-grade teachers, and four families with limited financial resources whose children struggled in reading. Administrators and teachers believed parents’ lack of involvement at school events conveyed the wrong values to their children and served as a primary reason for continued poor academic performances. In Phase II, parents and teachers partnered to tutor students. For those families who participated in tutoring, their children’s reading progress after 2 months of tutoring matched or exceeded their growth during the previous 7 months of receiving only classroom instruction. Teachers’ initial skepticism regarding parents’ ability to tutor was replaced by a new appreciation for their efforts. Discussion focuses on both the quantity and the quality of parental involvement using a framework by Pomerantz and Moorman.
Over the past three decades, the United States has experienced a significant increase in the use of security measures in public and private secondary schools. Measures including police officers, metal detectors, and security cameras are becoming more common in the hallways of American schools. Following this surge, a number of academics have become interested in understanding how these measures effect outcomes for students, yet little research has sought to explore the impact of security measures on parents. Using data from the Educational Longitudinal Study (2002), the current project explores the relationship between formal and informal parenting involvement with the school and the presence of school security measures utilizing Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) regression. Results indicate the presence of a security guard and metal detectors is related to lower levels of formal parental involvement, all else equal. Security measures were not found to effect informal parental involvement occurring outside of the school proper.
This study examined what elementary schools in New York State are doing to recognize lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) families in terms of curriculum, policies, and practices. In all, 116 school psychologists completed an online survey regarding their districts. Findings indicated that even though most school districts serve LGBT-headed families, few schools have comprehensive curricula, practices, and polices that address their family structure. Even though most respondents believed that LGBT families were visible and included within their district, they did not perceive the school environment to be very welcoming for these families. Schools with a higher per pupil expenditure were more inclusive, but the type of community (i.e., rural, urban, or suburban) in which schools were located did not relate to the level of recognition LGBT-headed families receive. Although findings suggest some awareness of LGBT-headed families, schools still have a long way to go before the needs of all families are met.
Migration’s influences on citizenship education were widely discussed in the literature. However, most studies were based on international migration that drew experience from, for example, North America and Europe. Less attention was paid to internal migration or developing areas. This article takes China as an example, which is a country that has experienced and will experience extensive internal migration, to analyze the relationship between internal migration and citizenship education. This article selects Shenzhen as a study site, for it reflects China’s population movements and city development in the last three decades. Interviews with 38 teachers in six schools and relevant university scholars, education bureau officers in 2008 were analyzed for this article. The article reports Shenzhen citizenship education’s responses to three challenges brought by internal migration. The analyses of the findings reveal that different from assimilation and multiculturalism approaches in citizenship education, Shenzhen’s citizenship education paid less efforts to diminish/reconcile migrants’ ethnic, cultural differences. Instead, it inclined to address the general problems caused by the migration phenomenon. Similarly, it also laid efforts on migrant integration and social cohesion.
Value-added measures of teacher effectiveness have become very popular in educational reform efforts. Using 2010 data from elementary schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), we engage in a new and innovative statistical approach to contribute to the discussion concerning such measures. We hypothesize that quality teachers are not independent of students and schools. Through two-stage least squares, we find that in the aggregate, high-quality teachers do not improve aggregate student outcomes in urban districts controlling for student and school factors. While good teachers can have individual, positive, and dramatic effects on individual students, their impacts on larger populations are diluted. Therefore, although high-quality teachers can improve individual student outcomes, other factors are more likely to create a more equitable, effective system of education.
A low visual-perceptive cognitive profile may predispose Greek kindergarten-aged children in urban areas to develop subsequent learning difficulties. The aim of the current study was, through the use of static and nonstatic diagnostic tools and early diagnostic procedures and a special intervention program, to equalize the big declinations in the children’s performances, among the different cognitive areas, to reduce the cognitive risk factor and, possibly, to avoid the appearance of learning difficulties at a later age. The Detroit Test of Learning Aptitude–2 (DTLA-2) was used to assess 60 children aged between 6.0 and 6.3 years, and a 20-session educational intervention program was implemented. One-year follow-up (35 children) shows a better balance in their cognitive profile was achieved compared with the control group. These results underline the importance of early diagnosis and appropriate intervention in children with specific cognitive profiles, who are "at risk" of developing subsequent learning difficulties.
Chicago Public Schools and school districts throughout the country are seeking new ways to foster racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic equity as desegregation consent decrees are being lifted. One of Chicago’s selective enrollment high schools drafted parents, educators, administrators, and community representatives to address its own diversity concerns and to examine the barriers to high-quality educational opportunities district-wide. As a result, this school began a pilot program that explored opportunities for bolstering the recruitment and nurturing the success of low income and minority students, and these efforts eventually contributed to policy changes in the overall district. The authors describe the program’s development and implementation and suggest it as one model for closing the "opportunity gap."
This study examines two case studies of failed leadership in school-based professional development. We describe the two initiatives and look to current leadership theories to help account for the events that occurred. The sociologist Bourdieu’s concept of habitus offers an approach to understanding the relationship between individual agency and structural determinism. Chaos and complexity theory conceptualize organizations from a systems level where relationships and connections among all constituents—both inside and outside—are the focus. In addition, transformational and charismatic leadership theories allow for a consideration of leadership characteristics. While much can be learned from failed attempts, a comparative analysis of failed and successful strategies may assist leaders in avoiding the pitfalls of these challenging times while simultaneously providing strategies for success.
The disparities in achievement among income and racial-ethnic groups of students have long been a major concern of educational policies. Among several identified factors that help explain the student performance gap, this paper focuses on inequity in funding for education among school districts, which resulted from heavy reliance of school districts’ revenue on local wealth. In 2004, the State of Maryland witnessed a significant change in financing methods for educational services by providing more resources for school districts with larger share of disadvantaged students. This is the first study to examine the effects of Maryland education finance reform on school spending and student performance. The findings show that reform has improved spending equity by providing more aid to school districts with larger share of disadvantaged students, but found little evidence that reform closed the student performance gap. This study holds policy implications for the current debate on reducing gaps of spending and student performance across school districts by using education finance reforms.
This study examines the nation’s oldest voluntary public school integration effort, Milwaukee’s Chapter 220 program, and describes its rise and decline. Chapter 220 was designed to integrate Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) and its suburban districts. Employing document analysis using 40 years of primary and secondary documents, including school board minutes and district reports that speak directly to the issue of school integration and the Chapter 220 program, this case study demonstrates how legislative policies that looked race neutral on the surface (Open Enrollment) contributed to the decline of the Chapter 220 Program, which had explicit affirmative action goals. This study fills a crucial void on the demise of school integration programs by focusing on legislative rather than legal decisions contributing to the demise of school integration program and has implications for other voluntary integration programs across America that have not been challenged legally.
Research commonly finds that urban teachers bring deficit views about students of color with them into classrooms, and professional development efforts focused on this critical problem have been met with limited success. Therefore, scholars have called for work that integrates content and equity as a way to challenge teachers’ deficit views at the same time as they transform content instruction. However, few examples exist that describe how to do this. This article helps to fill this gap. Rather than a research paper, it conceptually details one perspective on integrating mathematics and equity within professional development for urban elementary teachers. The focus is to support teachers in gathering counter evidence to challenge dominant deficit narratives about students of color. This builds a teacher community that tells different stories as they develop their mathematics teaching. The authors use three vignettes from this work to illustrate the professional development perspective in action.
This study examines the White racial identity (WRI) development of pre-service teachers in diverse and nondiverse student teaching placements. A qualitative design, using constant comparative analysis yielded salient themes/categories. Our results provide evidence that experience in diverse settings might provide opportunities for individuals to reflect on issues of their own race and ethnicity in contrast to their students’ backgrounds. Student teachers placed in more diverse settings showed evidence of WRI growth, as they became more cognizant of their heritage and their own privileges. We found that the level of diversity of student teaching field placements influenced White student teachers’ perceptions of working with students of color. We propose that ongoing discussions will foster an awareness of the history of racism and discrimination in the United States that has created racial and educational inequities, which, in turn, will promote multicultural competence.
Students across the nation are encountering more and more difficulties in their transition to high school. Not only are a significant number of students dropping out, but those who stay are also leaving high school without the skills they need to become productive citizens. Several intervention strategies are recommended to help students make a successful transition. From better academic preparation to structural reforms, probably all of them are needed and have an important place. In 2008, central office administrators and principals of a New Jersey school district, gathered to brainstorm about methods of early intervention strategies. The middle and secondary school principals recognized and agreed on the urgency to address these strategies by collecting data and searching for possible solutions. This article discusses the use of student data to develop a warning system, an "at risk" indicator for the 2008-2009 freshman class in one of New Jersey’s school districts.
This study documents the important role school and community-based programs have for sustaining the persistence of Latina/o high school students in an urban, low achieving school district. Consensus among student participants revealed these programs provided a safe space where students were able to develop confianza (mutual trust) with caring adults. Safe spaces were also culturally and linguistically affirming where students could be themselves. Adults associated with these programs served as institutional agents who helped students address personal and school barriers, which allowed students to successfully negotiate within schools. Without these community and school-based programs and the supports available through them, students indicated they would leave their respective high schools.
This study investigated the relation between building human capital of former dropouts and their occupational standing and the interaction effects with individual characteristics. By applying the growth curve model, this study highlighted the factors that lead high school dropouts to enhance their occupational standing. An increment in the work experience limitedly improved the occupational standing of dropout workers. The acquisition of a vocational certificate pushed dropout workers further toward higher occupational standing but engendered more benefits to female workers than to male workers. The benefit of a vocational certificate accrued to Whites, thereby increasing the racial disparities with Hispanics. The association between work experience and occupational standing did not depend on the demographic characteristics, indicating the presence of social constraints. Parental education level did not affect dropout workers in their acquisition of a higher occupational standing. Work experience was also not a mechanism for dropout workers to obtain better occupation and therefore, other policy interventions should be considered. Dropout workers need to be redirected toward a hidden credential, such as a vocational certificate instead of the General Educational Development test.
Policy makers’ attempts to improve low-achieving schools through reform measures are not new to the 21st century. Research asserts that this policy churn has done little, if anything, to change student achievement levels. Based on the research, I assert that policy reforms such as teacher evaluations and test-based assessment, and school improvement cannot occur without an integration of organizational components. Furthermore, through a theory of action analysis of the School Improvement Grant (SIG) program, I suggest that the link between what we know about school improvement and what is put forth in policy is tenuous at best. Continuing to pass reform simply for political reasons is not a viable option if our schools are to produce sustainable, positive change in student outcomes.
Scholars have become more attentive to lesbian/gay/bisexual/transsexual/queer/questioning (LGBTQ) topics as queer perspectives become increasingly prevalent in middle and high school environments. This study examines how educators navigate social and academic environments in order to incorporate inclusive pedagogical practices and cultivate safe schools for LGBTQ students. Tenets of structuration theory and heteronormativity are used to analyze interview data in order to unveil the heteronormative structures of schools and the production and reproduction of values that support or challenge these systems. Findings reveal that educators define the "rules" present in their schools systems, evaluate the potential risks in violating these rules, and negotiate their perceived role in the midst of these rules and risks. Implications include actions designed to facilitate educator efforts to address LGBTQ topics in schools in order to advance student welfare.
Academic interest in homeschooling has increased over the last decade, as what was once perceived as a marginal development, has, in fact, turned into a significant and growing phenomenon. There has been, in recent years, a noticeable surge in African American involvement in the homeschooling movement as well. However, there continues to be a general paucity of research on the motivations of homeschooling Black parents. It is the purpose of this essay (a) to present empirical evidence regarding African American motivations for homeschooling; and (b) to explore in depth one of the main reasons why African Americans increasingly choose to educate their children at home, namely, African American discontent with the poor quality of the education available in American schools, both public and private. While discontent with the quality of education is also commonly cited by other ethnic groups, the African American definition of a satisfactory education stands out, as it is articulated within the context of a racially exclusive and discriminatory society, and often includes demands for cultural and historical relevance.
This study examines the relationship between athletics, athletic leadership, and academic achievement. This is likely to be a tricky issue as athletes and athletic leaders are not likely to be a random group of students. To address this issue I control for school fixed effects and instrument the endogenous variables with height. I find that athletes perform better than nonathletes in every subject area tested by the High School and Beyond survey and that this effect appear to differ by sex and race. Based on the literature, these results are likely to be especially true for urban youths. In addition, there are large benefits from leadership on these athletic teams.
Based on selective findings from a qualitative study with first generation college students, this article presents the contradictory and complex ways in which the participants perceived sociocultural diversity on campus and their place within it. The students’ narratives both affirmed existing boundaries of social belonging based on the conventional categories of race, ethnicity, and social class and transcended them. Cross-border alliances were being built on campus at the same time that new boundaries were forming in unconscious ways. The discussion focuses on the implications of this study for intercultural capital development.
In this study we investigated determinants of the graduation rate of public alternative schools by analyzing the most recent, nationally representative data from Schools and Staffing Survey 2007-2008. Based on the literature, we built a series of three regression models via successive block entry, predicting the graduate rate first by (a) student demographics, then by (a) student demographics and (b) staffing characteristics, and finally by (a) student demographics, (b) staffing characteristics, and (c) school processes, with a purpose to compare the models to study the effects of those variables more amenable to policies (i.e., staffing characteristics and school processes). Among others, we found (a) that staffing characteristics and school processes are important blocks of variables to predict the graduation rate, (b) that summer programs and Hispanic teacher ratio are positively associated with the graduation rate, with having same teachers for 2 years or more being a marginally positive predictor, and (c) that having the traditional grade structure and providing day care are negatively correlated with the graduation rate. Implications of our findings for policy and future research are discussed.
This article describes findings from a single-case qualitative study of a unique 2-year professional development academy for practicing assistant principals designed and implemented in partnership between school district personnel and university educational leadership faculty members. The study was conducted based on the theoretical framework of instructional leadership developed by Murphy. Academy participants reported an increase in instructional leadership skills, the development of an institutional perspective, key collaborative and networking skills, and growth in confidence in their ability to conceptualize the role and to act as successful principals. District leaders indicated that program goals to develop a cadre of assistant principals who are ready to assume instructional and managerial leadership roles as principals had been met.
As schools aim to raise student academic achievement levels and districts wrangle with decreased funding, it is essential to understand the relationship between learning time and academic achievement. Using regression analysis and a data set drawn from California’s elementary school sites, we find a statistically significant and positive relationship between the number of instructional minutes in an academic year and school-site standardized test scores. Fifteen more minutes of school a day at a school site (or about an additional week of classes over an academic year) relates to an increase in average overall academic achievement of about 1%, and about a 1.5% increase in average achievement for disadvantaged students. This same increase in learning time yields the much larger 37% gain in the average growth of socioeconomically disadvantage achievement from the previous academic year. Placing this impact in the context of other influences found important to academic achievement, similar increases in achievement only occur with an increase of fully credentialed teachers by nearly 7 percentage points. These findings offer guidance regarding the use of extended learning time to increase academic performance. Moreover, they suggest caution in reducing instructional time as the default approach to managing fiscal challenges.
While a significant portion of Latino immigrant youth are failing to meet their academic potential, many others have been able to acquire the resources needed to excel academically. This study examined social capital assets (i.e., parent and teacher supports) for school engagement and trouble avoidance among a sample of recently arrived, non-U.S. born, middle school Latino adolescents (n = 141) residing in a high-poverty community located in the northeastern United States. School outcomes were compared for students who reported different combinations of low and high teacher and parent support. Findings from this study provided evidence of the additive benefit of teacher and parent support on school engagement and trouble avoidance among middle school, Latino immigrant adolescents. Implications for school-based interventions for this underserved population are discussed.
The state of North Carolina is one of few states in the South in which two large districts committed to desegregating schools in the early 1970s. However, the state’s two largest districts, Charlotte-Mecklenberg Schools (CMS) and Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) have experienced ups and downs in their policy commitment to desegregated schools. This article utilizes a cross-case policy analysis to examine levels of segregation in CMS and WCPSS over a 10-year period. In addition, the authors examine school finance data to determine whether district spending and local and federal contributions have an effect on student outcomes in CMS and WCPSS. The authors also compare district outcomes against the backdrop of student assignment policy within each district. Findings indicate that despite spending mechanisms, both districts have become more segregated over time and that the achievement gap has narrowed between the districts’ students.
Advocates of home-schooling claim a variety of positive educational and familial outcomes. Research is needed to examine possible effects of home-schooling on family relationships. We investigated family environment differences between home-schooling and public-schooling families matched in terms of family-centric orientation. Family cohesion was measured using FACES III, and parent–adolescent interaction styles were measured using the Interaction Styles Profile, an instrument formulated for limited research use by the second author based on previous work done with family interaction styles. Mothers, fathers, and adolescent students in 38 public-schooling and 35 home-schooling families completed the measures. The potential confound of preexisting values and commitment to highly cohesive, emotionally connected, cooperative family life in home-schooling families was controlled for by the selection of public-schooling families matched on this variable (family-centric orientation). Family-centric home-schooling families reported statistically significant, but only moderately higher levels of family cohesion and parent–child parallel interaction than family-centric public-schooling families. There were no significant differences between home-schooling and public-schooling families in self-reported symmetrical and complementary interactions. Thus, when controlling for preexisting family-centric orientation, the institution and practice of home-schooling alone appears to produce only moderate (clinically nonrelevant) shifts in family cohesion or positive parallel interaction, suggesting that family-centric families can realize their goals for family cohesion and positive interaction independent of their choice of schooling.
This study explored the challenges facing 1st-year alternatively certified teachers of mathematics and science in urban middle schools. Four teachers, participants in a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Robert Noyce Scholarship Program, were followed from preservice training through their 1st year of teaching, having taken part in innovative coursework, workshops, and internship training. Through focus groups, interviews, and classroom observations, data were collected to analyze their experiences in economically disadvantaged settings. The researchers explored key aspects of the scholars’ experiences, including their struggles with student performance and motivation, ways in which they developed strategies to strengthen their self-efficacy and resilience, and how novel strategies for assessing learning improved their teaching. By examining their perceptions of classroom situations and cultural contexts, and their emerging coping mechanisms, others can learn about how novice teachers may be better prepared to work in challenging environments, and develop recommendations for enabling teacher-training programs to meet the needs of their students.
This study conducted a case study of homeschooling in order to provide in-depth information regarding the demographic characteristics of homeschooling parents, the motivations and the process of practicing it and its outcomes in Shanghai. The public and the policy-makers, and education officials have had little substantive information in relation to homeschooling, in particular the homeschooling which emphasizes the Confucian education. This study has revealed that the main characteristics of homeschools in Shanghai can be summarized as: the majority of the parents are dissatisfied with school education; the parents come from a complex educational background. Most of the parents prefer the traditional culture norms and values, such as Confucian work; and all the homeschooling families come from the middle class, who are relatively wealthy.
Students are more racially segregated in schools today than they were in the late 1960s and prior to the enforcement of court-ordered desegregation in school districts across the country. This special issue addresses the overarching theme of policies, practices, or roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders that may directly or indirectly contribute to this new generation of school segregation commonly known as resegregation. I begin this special issue with a brief discussion of the legal milieu that helped set the stage for resegregation and explain why collecting social science evidence may be useful in addressing the resegregation problem in schools.
Inaction to address housing segregation in metropolitan areas has resulted in persistently high levels of residential segregation. As the Supreme Court has recently limited school districts’ voluntary integration efforts, this article considers the role of residential segregation in maintaining racially isolated schools, namely what is known about the reciprocal relationship between housing and schooling segregation patterns. In addition, it examines the residential and school segregation indices in the largest metropolitan areas since 2000, comparing relationships between the extent of school and residential patterns and changes in each over time. Finally, I consider the legal and policy options for how residential integration efforts might affect school segregation.
This study addresses the segregation of English language learner (ELL) students in schools across Texas. We descriptively analyze levels of racial, economic, and linguistic isolation experienced by ELL students across the state of Texas. We also examine the association between segregation by race/ethnicity, economic disadvantage, and language proficiency with high-stakes accountability ratings. Despite nearly two decades of accountability policies that have promised equality, our statistical analyses show that a majority of ELL students in Texas still attend high-poverty and high-minority schools, and we find that segregation by socioeconomic status (SES) and race and ethnicity is highly significant for predicting whether schools will be low performing relative to high performing.
This article argues that one possible avenue for addressing and increasing student body diversity in charter schools may lie with the authorizer. In particular, we focus on the role of university-based authorizers, a group of sponsors that would appear to be especially concerned with educational opportunity given their faculties’ traditional concern with issues of social justice. Thus, this article examines whether university-based charter school authorizers encourage charter school operators to recruit and enroll a diverse student body, and it discusses the role that authorizers could play in promoting more diverse charter schools.
In recent years, policy makers, researchers, and educators have focused on the preparation of individuals in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. One popular policy lever is STEM-focused high schools. The purpose of this study is to identify which student populations have access to STEM secondary schools. By comparing STEM high schools to neighborhood schools and districts, this study finds access to STEM high schools to be unevenly distributed. Among the key findings is that STEM high schools tend to have fewer students from disadvantaged groups than their district averages. Furthermore, I find that African Americans are disproportionately represented in admissions-only STEM high schools. As funding for more STEM high schools is allocated and infused into the system, it is important to identify locations and groups that may benefit and currently lack access to STEM high schools. Decision makers would be wise to place future STEM high schools in areas with high percentages of Latino students who may benefit from these unique programs.
Family homelessness has been on the rise throughout the United States in recent years. As a result, more schools and communities than ever are challenged to serve students whose lives are touched by instability, uncertainty, and crisis. To date, there has been little inquiry into how families’ particular places of homelessness might shape school and community action. Accordingly, this mixed-methods study examined how their experiences in different settings were associated with their social network-related aspirations and outcomes. With insights from social network theory, the findings suggested that although most families opted to double up with others before entering residential shelters or agencies, there were few positive social and educational opportunities in these places. Families’ networks were more heterogeneous and resource-rich in long-term residential agencies. Given the considerable variance in families’ experiences with homelessness and residential instability, it is suggested that schools and community agencies develop differentiated models of practice that address students’ place-specific needs.
Growing up in an inner city environment can inhibit healthy development and have detrimental consequences for children and adolescents such as increased risks for many social and psychological problems. This article explores the role of community arts centers in fostering resilience among youth living in the inner city. A review of the literature of risk factors associated with growing up in an inner city environment provides a rationale for the need for interventions that promote resilience by creating a refuge from the surrounding poverty and violence, and which strengthen youth’s personal and social resources. We examine the case of the Artists Collective, an inner city community arts center in Hartford, Connecticut, and propose that there are three components of community arts centers that contribute to youths’ resilience. First, features of the physical space promote resilience. Second, they are a place where prosocial relationships and social capital contributing to resilient functioning can be formed. Finally, we hypothesize that learning about and participating in the arts fosters resilience through the development of person-level protective factors such as self-efficacy, improved emotional regulation, social skills, coping skills, and ethnic pride.
This study is based on a 2-year evaluation of the Pathways Partnership, a precollege preparation program involving one school district, multiple colleges and universities, and several major businesses in a Midwestern metropolitan area. The week-long summer program cultivates youth leadership and the exploration of higher education through various student activities. The program also involves parents in an orientation at the beginning of the week and a graduation ceremony at its culmination, and it sponsors workshops on college choice and access for teachers in the district throughout the academic year. Through quantitative and qualitative methods we conclude that a program like Pathways has a positive effect on the academic self-efficacy and college aspirations of urban youth. Factors useful in predicting the likelihood with which urban middle school students hold postsecondary aspirations include peer norms, parental involvement, and academic self-efficacy. Our study contributes to the need for systematically derived research on precollege preparation programs and their effectiveness, and it also provides data and insights to promote the development of such partnerships in other interested communities.
This article looks at the issue of gifted and talented education from the perspective of public policy. It asserts that the underachievement of gifted children is a national concern, as these children may someday benefit society in ways that are disproportionate to their share of the population. Perhaps more importantly, it concludes that gifted education need not be inequitable. In fact, in the current state of the affairs of the United States, I find tremendous variation in the resources districts receive from the state that go toward gifted education. The state is particularly important as it has the power to reduce inequalities between districts that are the result of wealth and other factors. Rather than exacerbating inequality, a larger distribution of the gifted and talented resources serves to ensure gifted children in both poor and rich districts have an opportunity to maximize their potential.
Over the last few decades, college admission rates for Latinos have increased. However, the achievement gap between Latino students and other ethnic groups remains wide. Peer mentorship programs have shared in some degree of success in promoting the academic success of diverse and underrepresented student populations. Despite the growing population of Latino students, little has been done to recognize the potential cultural assets and resilience that they can bring to the educational environment. Utilizing concepts from cultural capital and community cultural wealth, a peer-mentoring program for Latino students was developed. The Promotores de Educación program was designed to provide students with peer support, tutoring, and linkage to academic and student services to improve the educational experience of Latino students, leading to improved academic performance and timely graduation. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the development and implementation of the program.
This study examined the link between developmental risk and protective factors and risky sexual activity among 222 urban African American youth attending an alternative education program (AEP) because of problematic behavior. Self-report information provided by these AEP participants revealed that, for the risk and protective factors examined, the extent of their involvement in delinquent activity, including substance use, and the less parental monitoring they received were the principal correlates of both the likelihood of the initiation and extent of their engagement in risky sexual activity. Findings of the study also illustrate the feasibility of the early identification of individuals likely to be at increased risk for the development of sexually-related short and long-term adverse health outcomes.
Identifying sources of variation has been used extensively in educational research as a tool to identify potential drives of variances in student achievement. However, prior research predominantly relied on findings from national- or international-level data, and thus their conclusions remain very broad-based. This study contributes new insight by assessing if and where there is variation in standardized testing performance for entire populations of cohorts of students in a single, large urban school district in the United States. Specifically, this study evaluates variance in Stanford Achievement Test Ninth Edition (SAT9) reading and math scores for all elementary school students in the School District of Philadelphia over four academic years and within three analytical levels of the educational experience—student, classroom, and school. To do so, this study employs three-level hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) to determine how the overall variance in testing performance can be partitioned within classrooms, between classrooms, and between schools. The initial results indicate that the overwhelmingly largest contributor to total variance in achievement is within classrooms at the student level. However, incorporating a full span of covariates into a three-tiered model of student achievement explains the majority of the between classroom and between school variance, though only half of the within classroom variance. Implications are discussed.
Over the past 20 years, there have been numerous calls to reform the practices of school counselors. Some have situated these calls for school counseling reform within the context of urban schooling. This study examined the practices of school counselors in one urban school district, and how those practices aligned with the school district’s vision of ideal school counselor practices. Using Q methodology, 79 school counselors and 1 director of guidance sorted the 43 American School Counselor Association’s (ASCA) standards for school counselor performance. Results indicate dissonance between the ideal practice as construed by the district and director of guidance and the practices of current school counselors. Finally, the factors that foster or inhibit congruence between ideal and reality are explored.
The epidemic of childhood obesity, and its subsequent impact on negative health outcomes, continues to plague the United States. Better health outcomes have been linked to increased child achievement in school. Due to the strong influence parents have on children’s healthful behaviors particularly in younger years, it’s imperative to examine the social cognitive impact parents have on this aspect of children’s development. The objective of this study was to determine the impact parental self-efficacy and parental role responsibility have on child’s nutritional, physical activity, and weight categories.
Parents (N = 820) responded to a questionnaire after participating in a child health screening project. Parental self-efficacy for assisting in their child’s healthful behaviors has a strong association with the child’s weight status, nutrition and physical activity. In order to make an effective change on child health behaviors, which lead to increased child academic test scores, these results suggest that school health interventionists and clinicians need to target basic psychological motivators of parental involvement.
This article describes how schools shape family engagement practices in the context of the New Latino Diaspora. Building on critical scholarship that has called for more culturally appropriate definitions of family engagement, this study seeks to develop a theoretical understanding of how school practices influence immigrant families’ access to and participation in schools with little tradition of serving immigrant communities. Drawing on a statewide survey of practice in schools serving the New Latino Diaspora in Wisconsin, analysis includes descriptive statistics and textual analysis of survey comments from school principals and teachers working with immigrant students. Findings illustrate how considerable efforts to ensure access to Spanish-speaking families through interpretation and translation fall short of increasing family participation in key aspects of schooling. Given the influx of immigrants to new destinations across the United States, this work offers important insight into how schools receive newcomers in these contexts and identifies implications for research and practice.
Historically, strong teacher unions have been successful at gaining benefits and security for their members, but they have been put on the defensive by recent proposals for education reform. Charter schools are one such reform that could threaten unions, but there is wide variety in the content of state charter school laws. Using state-level data from 3 different years, I find that the stronger a state’s teacher union, the more antiunion provisions a state’s charter school law will contain. These results suggest that antiunion sentiment has reached a level high enough to overcome the unions’ ability to influence policy on this issue.
Although national trends of urban adolescent reading underachievement suggest that schools are unable to adequately support this population’s reading development, some studies have demonstrated that urban schools can operate to raise student achievement, thereby disrupting national trends. In this study, the author investigates one such school that capitalized on instructional leadership, time and space, and teacher agency to both raise teacher capacity and youths’ reading achievement. It appears that an interrelationship among these features were critical in creating change at the school. Findings from this study hold important implications for future investigations on literacy instruction in urban schools.
For-profit educational management organizations (EMOs) are a growing phenomenon in public education, and they are an integral part of charter school reform in many states. Research suggests that charter schools operated by for-profit entities may take a more entrepreneurial approach when expanding their operations and thus may be more inclined to serve less disadvantaged and less costly students. In this article, we examine empirically whether charter schools are less likely to serve disadvantaged students by comparing the distribution of students across traditional public schools, nonprofit charter schools, and those managed by private companies. We base our analysis on data from the National Center of Education Statistics’ (NCES) Common Core Data (CCD), and we combine this data with information on the types of management organizations operating charter schools. Our results suggest that charter schools managed by EMOs draw students differently to their schools than those charter schools not managed by EMOs. They seem to seek out more Black students but are also focused on selecting fewer poor students than we see among regular public schools. When examining differences in the size of EMOs, we find that these effects appear most likely to occur among schools operated by large-sized EMOs.
This article, based on qualitative interviews conducted between 2007-2008 with 12 middle-career educators in the greater Boston area in Massachusetts, details teachers’ career and leadership aspirations in a context of educational change. The findings suggest that teachers who presently are in midcareer struggle with the move toward the principalship, but that generational differences, not the changed educational context, more heavily impact their lack of attraction to the job. Using generational theory, this article offers a critique of the available literature on teachers’ career paths, the principal shortage, generational differences, and the quite different work and leadership expectations of the next generation of school leaders.
This article reports on a program of research that examined the background, planning, implementation, and evaluation of an after-school preventive intervention program within an ongoing urban alternative education program targeting African American students referred to the school because of their problematic behavior in regular schools. The research undertaken involved the examination of three separate, but interrelated, investigative components: (a) the relationship of risk and protective factors to the sexual activity of individuals in the targeted population; (b) the problems associated with the implementation of an after-school preventive intervention found to be effective within a regular school setting; and (c) determination of the effectiveness of the after-school preventive intervention, the results of which were largely compromised by the problems encountered during the implementation of the intervention.
In the spaces of high school, sexual minority youth often find that their needs for inclusion are not met by their institutions and those employed within. Through interviews with sexual minority high school students and written questionnaires with high school teachers and other faculty, we find that sexual minority youth are faced with exclusion on a number of curricular levels. Here, we expand the notion of the "official" curriculum to include not only academic curriculums (classrooms), but also campus curriculums (groups) and social curriculums (relationships). Through examining each of these school spaces, we find that the "hidden" heteronormative curriculum directly and adversely affects sexual minority youth on a number of personal and educational levels. Suggestions are provided for changes and additions to high school policies and procedures in order to better serve sexual minority high school populations.
Three arguments regarding racial equity have arisen in the school choice debate. Choice advocates charge that choice will improve access to quality schools for disadvantaged minority students (Chubb & Moe 1990; Coons & Sugarman, 1978; Godwin & Kemerer, 2002; Viteritti, 1999). Critics argue that choice is unlikely to benefit minority students, but they are divided as to why this may be the case. Some maintain that unfettered choice leads to racial segregation (Henig, 1996; Mickelson, 2005; Saporito, 2003); others maintain that while choice may be successful in reducing segregation at the building level, choice programs may be problematic to the extent that they segregate schools at the classroom level (Wells & Crain, 1997; Wells, Holme, & Vasudeva, 2000; Wells & Roda, 2009; West, 1994). I use data from the eighth-grade wave of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study to examine these questions. Results indicate that the racial composition of magnet schools is not statistically different from regular public schools; however, magnet schools are more heterogeneous at the classroom level, but only with respect to White/Hispanic racial composition. In particular, honors classes in magnet schools are significantly more diverse than honors classes in regular public schools, but only with regard to White/Hispanic diversity.
The lack of achievement of students from high-risk and high-poverty environments necessitates changes in today’s middle school environments to create a caring, supportive environment where all middle school students can succeed. This study investigated the classroom learning environments of resilient, average, and nonresilient minority students in middle school reading classrooms. A total of 1,295 seventh- and eighth-grade minority students were administered an adapted version of the My Class Inventory. The results revealed that resilient students had more positive perceptions of their reading class than average and nonresilient students. On the other hand, nonresilient students perceived their reading class to be more difficult and have more friction than average and resilient students. Further research is needed in this area that examines specific ways that teachers can improve the learning environments for nonresilient students without diminishing the more supportive learning environment that currently exists for other students in their classes.
Similar to Dickens’s Tale of Two Cities, this research study is about a tale of two schools. The first type of school is a dysfunctional school. Dysfunctional schools are schools in a state of chaos (Shipengrower & Conway, 1998). The second school is that of order. The researchers refer to this school as a functional school. In 2003, the functional school in this research project scored a 100% pass rate in the Senior Certificate Examination (SCE), whereas the dysfunctional school scored 57.35%. Dysfunctional schools, known as "failing schools" are usually found in the poorest neighborhood, where children are mostly Black or immigrants who are not proficient in English. One of the casualties of the apartheid era has been the diminishing authority of the school principal. The aim of this research is to investigate the role of the leader in managing a functional school situated in a dysfunctional environment in the Gauteng province of South Africa. The research study is also directed at predicting the characteristics of dysfunctional/functional schools in the Gauteng province of South Africa.
Disciplinary consequences assigned to all Texas middle school Black and White students (n = 172,551 Grade 6 students; 173,671 Grade 7 students; 175,730 Grade 8 students) for the 2008-2009 school year were analyzed to determine the extent to which statistically significant differences were present between the proportion of Black students and the proportion of White students assigned discipline consequences. Black students received in-school suspension at more than twice the percentage of their representation in the overall student sample population. Similar results were present for out-of-school suspension, with proportionately more Black students being assigned to out-of-school suspension than White students. Although the number of students assigned to disciplinary alternative education program placement was small, Black students were still assigned to this disciplinary consequence at a much higher percentage than were White students. A lack of equity was clearly demonstrated in the overrepresentation of Black middle school students assigned to disciplinary consequences.
This study investigates the legal literacy of urban public school administrators in Malaysia. Data were collected from 109 school administrators. The instrument that was administered to the respondents comprised two parts: Part 1, the background information of the respondents; and Part 2, items on the law related to schools, such as teachers’ duty of care, classroom supervision, and corporal punishment. The article discusses the findings of the research and provides some recommendations to school administrators to reduce the risk of litigation.
This article addresses the need for novice teachers to receive exposure and experiences related to family engagement as part of their academic preparation to better facilitate their actual parent involvement practices. In a graduate-level parent involvement in education course, early childhood educators had an opportunity to engage in a variety of family engagement practices and reflect on the effectiveness and outcomes for the students and their families.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the mediation effects of children’s cognitive and noncognitive traits on the relationship between dropout mothers’ traits and their children’s educational expectations and to examine the interaction effects of dropout mothers’ General Education Development (GED) on children’s traits and educational expectations. The data were drawn from a series of National Longitudinal Survey Data. This study demonstrated the effect of mothers’ self-esteem on children’s educational expectations, which were mediated through children’s cognitive ability and self-esteem after controlling for the mothers’ cognitive ability, self-esteem, and socioeconomic status. Furthermore, mothers’ GED attainment moderated the relationship between children’s self-esteem and educational expectations. These findings provide better understanding of the intergenerational connections between cognitive and noncognitive traits and educational expectations.
The possibility is examined that school choice programs could be a means to reducing the achievement gap. Data based on meta-analytic research and the examination of nationwide data sets suggest that school choice programs that include private schools could reduce the achievement gap by 25%. The propounding of this possibility is based on research indicating that the achievement gap in faith-based schools is generally 25% narrower than one finds in public schools. Results of these studies suggest that both the racial achievement gap and the socioeconomic achievement gap are reduced by the same degree (25%). The significance of these results is discussed, especially as it pertains to the attitudes that people frequently have toward school choice.
Early determinants of college attendance and degree attainment for economically disadvantaged minority youth were examined in the present study. The study sample (n = 1,379) was drawn from the Chicago Longitudinal Study (CLS), an ongoing investigation of a panel of low-income minority children born in 1980, growing up in high-poverty neighborhoods in Chicago. Regression findings indicated that three factors in elementary grades can potentially improve both college attendance and bachelor’s (BA) degree completion for economically disadvantaged minority students: better classroom adjustment, high parent expectation in child’s education, and better academic performance. Findings have implications for schools, educators, and policy makers.
The purpose of this study is to explore the direct, indirect, and total effects of high school sports participation on educational attainment for Black males using the Educational Longitudinal Study (2002/2006), a large, nationally representative, database. A path analysis procedure for determining underlying causal relationships between variables is presented. Although the implications of the results of this study are relevant for all who work with this population, school counselors are specifically highlighted.
The present study revisits a subfield of environmental education: significant life experiences, which studies the influences that shape the development of environmental stewardship. In the present study, we examine the effect of various formative experiences on a group of adults and analyze the role of school, as a formative influence on the parents of the students. By employing factor analysis, we were able to differentiate between groups of variables influencing attitudes and those influencing behavior. Cluster analysis enabled us to differentiate between types of respondents in accordance to their responsiveness to influencing experiences. The results draw attention to (a) the different pathways by which environmental attitudes and behaviors are influenced; (b) the important role of the inner self ("personality") in organizing and giving meaning to all other formative influences; and (c) the effectiveness of environmental schools in urban communities in Israel, in influencing the behavior of students’ parents
This qualitative study investigated the visions and metaphors for teaching held by teacher candidates enrolled in an urban-based alternative certification program. While late-entry teacher recruits are considered to have high motivations for urban school teaching, few studies explore the nature of these motivations. Findings from this study uncovered four orientations concerning teaching in urban schools: visionaries, reformers, saviors, and opportunists. While visionaries and reformers appear to be a stronger fit for urban contexts, saviors and opportunists expressed deficit views of students or cared little about building relationships with urban youth. Implications for supporting new urban teachers are discussed.
In this article, the author combines multicultural feminist critical theories with the voices of Black and Latina/Latino young spiritual children to extend culturally responsive teaching. The author illuminates how children use their hip-hop writing to construct themselves as people who communicate with God, choose spiritual content for their hip-hop songs, and attest to God’s abilities to help people. By helping in-service and preservice teachers increase their awareness and understandings of children’s spiritualities and spiritual practices, one can (re)vision the policies, pedagogies, methodologies, and structures that are, can, and should occur in educational institutions.
The educational accountability movement in the United States under No Child Left Behind has negatively affected urban teachers because of high-stakes testing, narrowed curriculum, and scripted pedagogy. Such conditions have led to teacher stress, burnout, and attrition. Missing from the scholarly literature are the ways in which teachers work to overcome these conditions. This article offers a self-study that examines an urban elementary teacher’s journey as he navigated both within and against the structural mandates of No Child Left Behind. Using Anthony Giddens’s theory of structuration, the author elaborates on four key factors—strong teacher preparation, cultivation of caring relationships with students and families, collaboration with other teachers, and development of an informal contract with administration—that ultimately were responsible for his success and well-being
Although there is considerable anecdotal evidence that the scale of private tutoring is substantial in the Philippines, attempts to document its existence is limited. Using phenomenological inquiry, this study aimed to provide a more eidetic portrait of private tutoring transformation in the Philippines from the perspectives and collective experiences of 11 cram school and formal school administrators from 3 key urban cities in the country. Using a dendrogram, semistructured interviews surfaced three distinct syndromes describing the dynamics of private tutoring phenomenon, namely, the lean on, pass on, and ride on syndromes of private tutoring. Through the years, private tutoring was able to secure its own market niche at the fringes of the mainstream education system and has become more entrenched in Philippine society.
This article explores how conceptions of choice and visions of the future are constructed within the context of specialized arts programs in two Canadian public high schools. The authors consider how discourses of the arts are implicated in the way that possible futures are envisioned differently, delimiting the range of choices available to students. Their analysis shows how choices are unequally distributed and possible futures unequally constructed in ways that reinforce social class hierarchies. The discussion of the data is organized around the contrast in how three tropes—"the architect," "the fifth year," and "being lazy"—emerge in both school contexts in relationship to students’ futures. By illustrating how the arts operate in this process, the authors challenge the common assumption that arts programs have the inherent ability to transcend social structures in general and social class processes in particular. The authors conclude by considering the implications of their analysis for how notions of choice are understood in relationship to specialized arts programs.
Value-added approaches for attributing student growth to teachers often use weighted estimates of building-level factors based on "typical" schools to represent a range of community, school, and other variables related to teacher and student work that are not easily measured directly. This study examines whether such estimates are likely to be accurate in "outlier" schools where building-level characteristics, such as demographics and faculty qualifications, are at the outer edges of the distribution of schools on which the "typical school" estimates are based. We examined whether building-level factors correlate with grade-level ratings in one of the most widely used approaches to value-added modeling, thus impacting interpretation of value-added ratings of teachers. Urban schools may be particularly affected by findings that reliable interpretation of a model using typical school estimates is affected by aspects of the school, even when using a weighted model. More correlations were found than would be expected by chance, many fairly large. Correlations tend to cluster around particular variables, possibly an effect of system accommodations for demographic or economic factors. A greater range and number of correlations were found for mathematics than reading. Finally, correlations and strength of relationships increase with grade level.
This study investigates the interrelationship of categorical funding mechanisms within the Colorado school finance system for English language learners (ELLs) in an effort to test overall equity of the system in light of an underfunded categorical program. Using several analytical techniques, the study set out to determine the degree to which issues of adequacy within the ELL categorical program bear on equity among school districts in the state. Specific attention was focused on school districts with high levels of ELL students and school districts with little or no ELL programming needs. Results show an adverse trend as the percentage of ELL students increases in a school district. Equity overall among school districts is similarly adversely affected.
Is the U.S. Supreme Court inviting litigants to take aim at unraveling injunctions in institutional reform litigation—especially consent decrees in the schools? In Horne v. Flores (2009), the court remanded a 17-year-old school reform case to a federal judge with orders to look beyond consent decrees on financing, reducing class sizes, and moving from bilingual education to structured English immersion—to look anew at whether the schools in Nogales, Arizona, provide equal opportunity. Those concerned with schools worry that the court has signaled the end of institutional reform litigation in the schools. However, we closely analyze these dense opinions and data tables to posit the court’s preference for a catalytic judicial strategy that may work best with institutional reform litigation. We place this analysis within a larger context of empirical studies of institutional reform litigation judicial strategies, including judicial roles of deferrer, director, broker, and catalyst. We also argue that these preferences demonstrate the court’s awareness of a sociolegal empirical literature on what works in institutional reform litigation—rather than the end of consent decrees in the schools.
In this article, I serve as a secretary for the critical policy analysis presented by hundreds of teachers, parents, students, and community members during 19 public hearings on school closures in New York City. In testimony at hearings, community members rejected the narrow, statistical approach they felt the Department of Education was using to develop policy. They examined the stated motives for school closures, the terms on which school closures were justified, the interests negotiated in policies, and the consequences of these decisions. Finally, this article challenges academics and policymakers to engage more authentically with community knowledge.
This investigation uncovered the conditions of learning, both positive and negative, that students in an alternative school experienced both in and out of the classroom setting. Eleven students at an alternative high school in a large suburban school district in the Pacific Northwest were interviewed using methods of narrative inquiry and iterative data collection, grounded in social cognitive theory and student voice literature. Four chief findings are discussed: (a) Learning experiences are improved when explicitly connected to the real world; (b) Positive emotions and relationships support successful learning, whereas negative ones hinder learning; (c) A certain level of student autonomy during learning seems to be tied to achieving goals; and (d) Social learning is consequential for students. The social as defined in this study is composed of two things: (a) how social influences from outside of school can have an effect on how students approach schooling and (b) the implications of understanding and taking part in relationships.
In this study, we examined the college-readiness rates of Black, Hispanic, and White Texas public high school graduates using archival data from the Texas Education Agency Academic Excellence Indicator System. An examination of the state college-readiness rates across a 3-year period was conducted to determine the extent to which academic achievement gaps had increased, decreased, or remained relatively large and stable among Black, Hispanic, and White high school graduates in Texas. For the 3 years of data, college-readiness rates of White students were higher than the college-readiness rates of Black and Hispanic students in reading, math, and both subjects by large margins. Of the 27 statistical analyses of college readiness, statistically significant findings were present, revealing 19 large effect sizes, one near-large effect size, one moderate effect size, and six small effect sizes. Although Black and Hispanic students increased their college-readiness rates, White students also increased their college-readiness rates in reading, math, and both subjects to maintain the status quo for student academic achievement.
The continued presence of educational management organizations (EMO) is explained as an inevitable and continued component of the public school landscape. This article discusses both why EMOs are here to stay and the benefits of EMOs in public education. Statistics are shared showing a 420% increase in the number of EMOs over the past 11 years as well as the Obama administration’s commitment to choice and entrepreneurship in education. EMOs’ role of providing a quality education option for students living in low-income urban neighborhoods and students of color was discussed using evidence and research showing that EMOs serve students of color in the urban centers of districts. In addition, the benefit of being free from the bureaucratic control of traditional public school districts is examined. Last, research findings that suggest significant academic gains for students attending EMO-run schools are presented. Together, these findings suggest that EMO-run schools are a beneficial component to the educational landscape.
The purpose of this study is to inform public policies aimed at improving parental school-choice processes. The study estimates both the utility obtained by parents from different school attributes and the effective utility obtained with the actual school choice made by parents. The difference between both types of utilities provides a panorama on how market imperfections affect the general equilibrium of the education market. The results show that parents have different preference functions depending on their socioeconomic level. Nevertheless, regardless of the socioeconomic level, in all preference functions teacher performance remains highly significant. The findings suggest that even if parents would want the schools that serve their children to fulfill a series of academic criteria, they cannot use academic attributes when choosing a school for their children. This seems to be the result of either lack of information or because there is no quality alternative available to them.