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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Latino student success in Oregon high schools
by Peterson, Deborah S., Ed.D., Lewis and Clark College, 2011, 431; 3495806
Abstract (Summary)

The public educational system has failed to adjust practices, policies, and procedures to ensure systematic, equitable access to a rigorous education for all youth, including those from diverse linguistic and racial backgrounds (Delpit, 1995; G. Gay, 2010; hooks, 1994; Ladson-Billings, 1994; Lindsey, Roberts, & Campbelljones, 2005; Nieto, 2000; Singleton & Linton, 2006; Tatum, 1997). How best to educate Latino children and English language learners (ELLs) has become more important over the past 30 years as the number of Latino school-aged children has increased (National Center for Education Statistics [NCES], n.d.b; United States Census Bureau, 2010; Wilkins, 2006). In Oregon, the Latino student population more than doubled between 1998-1999 and 2008-2009 from 47,027 students to 97,214 while the White student population declined by 64,619 students, from 450,063 in 1998-1999 to 385,444 in 2008-2009 (NCES, n.d.b).

With the increase of the Latino student population has come a corresponding achievement gap between Latino and White students (Lopez, 2009; NCES, n.d.b; Pew Hispanic Center, n.d.). Recent research shows the impact of a school’s cultural proficiency on students of color (Boone, Hartzman, & Mero, 2008; Calkins, Guenther, Belfiore, & Lash, 2007; G. Gay, 2010; Singleton & Linton, 2006; Suarez-Orozco, Pimentel, & Martin, 2009; Wilkins, 2006). In addition, research on the impact of leadership practices and school program characteristics has been conducted Darling- Hammond, 2007a, 2007b; (Darling-Hammond & Friedlaender, 2008; DuFour, DuFour, Eaker, & Many, 2006; Leithwood & Jantzi, 2005; Schmoker, 2006).

This study analyzed the relationship among school cultural proficiency, leadership, and program characteristics while revealing additional characteristics of high schools effective with Latino youth. Quantitative and qualitative data were used to draw conclusions from five school settings in Oregon with more than 40% Latino youth, more than 10% ELLs, and Latino student academic achievement rates exceeding state averages. The data revealed the schools’ strong ethic of culturally responsive caring, personalized accountability for all members of the school community, communication strategies, and academic supports unique to students’ needs. This study has implications for preservice and inservice professional development, specifically in the area of administrator and teacher preparation and hiring; community engagement; and school program design.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Carr, Carolyn S.
Commitee: Favela, Alejandra, Galloway, Mollie
School: Lewis and Clark College
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Oregon
Source: DAI-A 73/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Bilingual education, Educational leadership, School administration
Keywords: Diversity, Equity, Hispanic studies, Latino school-aged children, Latino studies, Multicultural education, Social justice
Publication Number: 3495806
ISBN: 978-1-267-19716-0
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