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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

If You Start from Behind, the Race Isn't Fair: Math Placement of Language Minority High School Students
by Powers, Kimberly Ann, Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2020, 90; 27999595
Abstract (Summary)

When a language minority immigrant enters high school, there are a variety of assessments given to place them in the proper English language development class. The placement in mathematics does not have the same uniform procedure. As a result, students are often improperly placed in their initial high school math course. Mathematics courses are vertically aligned; therefore, a student must take them in a certain order. Improper initial placement can restrict a student’s opportunity to enroll in the college-preparation math classes needed for university acceptance. This study explored the opportunities students had when they were placed in the proper initial math course, focusing on examining how the Initial Math Course Placement Level impacted the math course final grades of language minority immigrant high school students (LMIHS) and the relationship between the Initial Math Course Placement Level and LMIHS students’ English language status, feeling about placement fitting ability, and expectations of college preparation math courses, respectively. This study involved 54 LMIHS participants from the English Language Development (ELD) program at a suburban California high school and used quantitative correlation methods to analyze the data from two Initial Math Course Placement Level tests, course final grades, and a survey. The results of this study show that the two Initial Math Placement Level tests were the significant predictors of student math success as measured by the final scores in their math courses. The results of the data analysis of this study also show some significant relationships between Initial Math Course Placement Level and English Language Development (ELD) placement and between Initial Math Course Placement Level and other important factors from the survey.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: An, Shuhua
Commitee: Slater, Charles, Rasmussen, Robert
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 82/5(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: English as a Second Language, Secondary education, Language, Curriculum development, Mathematics education
Keywords: College preparation, English Language Learners, Immigrant high school students, Math assessment, Math placement, Language minorities, High school math courses, English Language Development program, California
Publication Number: 27999595
ISBN: 9798691211997
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