CHANGES IN MATH ACHIEVMENT GAPS UNDER THE ERA OF NCLB:BETWEEN DIFFERENT IMMIGRANT STUDENT GROUPS AND NATIVE-BORNWHITEAMERICANS

Open Access
Author:
JEON, SUE BIN
Graduate Program:
Educational Leadership
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
October 04, 2010
Committee Members:
  • Roger C Shouse, Dissertation Advisor
  • Roger C Shouse, Committee Chair
  • Suet Ling Pong, Committee Member
  • Susan C Fiarcloth, Committee Member
  • Edgar Paul Yoder, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • immigrant generation
  • race and education
  • achievement gaps
  • immigrant education
  • hierarchical linear modeling
Abstract:
Previous comparisons of the gaps in educational achievement between various minority groups (non-White, non-English-speaking, low income) and their counterparts (White, English-speaking, middle income) have tended to disregard the immigrant status of the minority students. In this study, I investigated these gaps within and between immigrant student groups in terms of generation status i.e. whether the students were first, second, or third generation immigrants. As the number of immigrant students in U.S. schools continues to increase, it is necessary to pay more attention to such gaps. Furthermore, immigrant students often fall into at least one minority category as a result of race, socioeconomic status, or lack of English proficiency. Their academic attainment should, therefore, be examined in combination with these factors. The research goal of this study is to examine whether gaps in educational achievement among different groups of immigrant students have changed since the implementation of the NCLB Act. Based on the key premise that the act would raise all students’ academic achievement and narrow any achievement gaps, I developed the following hypothesis: if the NCLB Act has been effective, it would by now have helped close the gaps in educational achievement among different generations of immigrant students and different races. To investigate this hypothesis, I posed the following research questions. 1) Are there gaps in the educational achievement of immigrant students from different racial groups compared with their native-born, White counterparts? 2) Are there gaps in educational achievement among different generations of immigrant students within the same racial group? 3) If such gaps exist, were these closed over time from 2003 to 2007? I used TIMSS 2003 and 2007 data to examine math achievement gaps among students of different immigrant generation groups. In addition, I investigate racial effect of immigrant students on their math achievement. Two-level Hierarchical Linear Modeling was used to analyze the effect nested within schools. The main findings of my study are as follows. Firstly, immigrants are generally likely to underperform compared to their native-born white counterparts. Secondly, achievement gaps among different immigrant generation groups of a same race are likely to be diverse. Thirdly, the pattern of the academic disparities between black or Hispanic immigrants and their native-born white counterparts tend to remain fairly stable over time.