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Lost Opportunities: The Difficult Journey to Higher Education for Underrepresented Minority Students
Pages 234-259

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From page 234...
... At the beginning of the 21St century, Latinos are emerging as the nation's largest minority group, and California is the state with the largest Latino popuTABLE 1 Percent of 25-29 Year Olds with BA degrees, by Ethnicity, 2000 Ethnic Group Asian White Black Percent with BA 53.9 34.0 17.8 9.7 Latino SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau data' 2000.
From page 235...
... Access to Preschool Attending center-based preschool is linked to higher emerging literacy scores for both disadvantaged and advantaged children (National Center for Education Statistics, 1995~. However, the opportunity to "catch up" to the skills of more advantaged peers is particularly critical for black and Hispanic children who are more than four times as likely as non-Hispanic whites to be raised in
From page 236...
... California has the largest Hispanic population of any state, and being largely Mexican origin, it is also among the poorest and least well educated. Figure 1 shows the preschool attendance rates of entering kindergartners in that state by ethnicity, and here it is apparent that all non-white groups attend preschool in much lower proportions than white students, but this is particularly true for Hispanics (Latinos)
From page 237...
... In sum, black and Hispanic children are much more likely to enter kindergarten with multiple risk factors related to poor school outcomes, while Hispanics are much more likely to begin kindergarten early—a potential risk factor but only Blacks appear to offset the risks by attending preschool in high proportions. While the social class of children does not appear to be highly related to whether they attend preschool for all but white children (U.S.
From page 238...
... When compared to stay-at-home siblings, some programs were able to narrow the test score gap with white children by at least one-quarter and to close the gap in the probability of having to repeat a grade by about two-thirds. African-American students also made significant test score gains as a result of completing a Head Start program; how
From page 239...
... The lower performance of Hispanic children vis-a-vis African-Amencan children, in spite of the fact Hat they outperform Blacks on tests of academic achievement in elementary school, is probably related to the large numbers of Hispanic kindergartners who are tested in English, but who do not speak the language when they enter school. TABLE 3 Percent of Kindergartners in Lowest and Highest Quartile of Reading Skills, by Ethnicity, Fall 1998 Group Percent Percent Percent Percent Lowest Highest Lowest Highest Quartile/ Quartile/ Quartile/ Quartile/ Reading Reading Math Math Black 34 15 39 10 Latino 42 15 40 14 Native American 57 9 50 9 Asian 13 39 13 38 White 18 30 18 32 SOURCE: America's Kindergartners, U.S.
From page 240...
... Elementary School Researchers studying the academic achievement of children in federally funded programs for low-income, low-performing students (Chapter 1) found that achievement gaps between white students and Latino and African-American students in Chapter 1 schools remain relatively constant across the six elementary
From page 241...
... . This study, known as the Special Strategies Study, found that African-American students trailed white students on CTBS/4 reading by .71 to .82 standards deviations, while Latino students lagged about one-half standard deviation behind white students.
From page 242...
... A primary gateway is through the gifted and talented programs. Considering their overall achievement patterns, it is not surprising that African-American, Latino, and Native American students are underrepresented in programs for the gifted and talented throughout the nation, and white and Asian students are overrepresented.
From page 243...
... The failure to identify and place more minority students in these programs represents another lost opportunity to increase the achievement trajectory of these students. Middle School While grouping practices in elementary schools determine to a large extent the breadth and depth of curriculum to which students will be exposed, curnculum tracking begins in earnest in the middle schools.
From page 244...
... However, the TABLE 6 Percent of Students with Specified Grades and Test Scores by E~n~city for 8th Grade Gifted and Talented Students (NELS 88 Database) Ethnicity Test Score Test Score Test Score Test Score Grades Grades Grades Grades Quartile 2n~ 3r~ 4~ Quar- Less 2.0- 3.0- 3.5+ (Low)
From page 245...
... The labeling effect of being identified as gifted may be a factor in some African-American and Latino students being assigned to algebra (given their overall lower grades and test scores)
From page 246...
... Unfortunately, it also appears that if students do not leave middle school with a strong academic foundation, it is very unlikely that high schools will be able to change their academic trajectory (Gandara & Bial, 2001~. For this reason, the federal government's newest foray into providing comprehensive services for low-income and minority students GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs)
From page 247...
... Students who are active in extracurricular activities and who have meaningful relationships with other students and faculty are less likely to drop out of school than students who do not participate in such activities or have such relationships (Mahoney & Cairns, 1997~. This is probably one reason why high residential mobility among many low-income and minority students has such negative effects on school persistence—because it is difficult for many students to reestablish relationships and group affiliations in each new school to which they are assigned.
From page 248...
... The grades and test scores of students by ethnic group provide some indication of the extent to which these students' academic experiences vary. Table 8 shows the relative SAT scores for six different ethnic groups and the percentage of students within each group who scored at or above the median score on the test.
From page 249...
... African American (116,144) 433 484 25% SOURCE: The College Board, 1999 SAT administration data.
From page 250...
... Segregation of Minority Students Within and Between Schools Racial and ethnic segregation continue to have an impact on school performance for underrepresented students. Inequalities in educational opportunity between segregated white schools and segregated schools with students of color have been well documented (Orfield, 1996)
From page 251...
... Nonetheless, such programs appear to lift some participants over the final hurdles to college and to help ensure that well-prepared students from low-income and minority backgrounds actually get there an outcome that is far from certain even for the best prepared students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Special Challenges for Limited English-Proficient Students Most students with limited English proficiency also come from low-income homes and confront the same challenges as other underrepresented students.
From page 252...
... Moreover, while a little more than one-third of all college students attend two-year institutions, more than half of all Latino and Native American students who attend college are found in these institutions. One primary mission of the community colleges is to provide low-cost, easy, and local access to postsecondary education for students who might not otherwise be able to attend because of limited resources or inadequate preparation for a four-year university.
From page 253...
... The failure to attend to the significant loss of potential college graduates Tom this sector of Be higher education system is a lost opportunity of major dimensions. Underrepresented students are even less likely to be enrolled in biological/life sciences or health professions (nursing and other non-physician)
From page 254...
... A majority of the children in the United States who will be raised by parents without a high school education in 2015 are projected to be Hispanics and their numbers are projected to double from 1990 levels. Thirty percent of all Hispanic children will be raised in families without a high school education.
From page 255...
... Their calculations show that under any scenario closing the high school graduation, college going, or college completion gap between these groups He public benefits, includ~ng decreased social welfare costs and increased taxes, outweigh the costs to provide the education. It behooves us all to seize upon the multiple lost opportun~ties In the academic pipeline to capture these students before Hey are lost, and to make every effort to defy the educational projections for the year 2015.
From page 256...
... (1996~. Does Head Start help Hispanic children?
From page 257...
... The growing gender gap in higher education. The College Board Review, 188, pp.
From page 258...
... Washington, D.C.: National Center for Education Statistics. United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (1999~.
From page 259...
... Head Start and beyond. New Haven: Yale University Press.


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