School Experiences of Latina/o Students in Rochester, NY: A Community-Based Study of Resources, Challenges, and Successes
Director/PI: Judy Marquez Kiyama
, Donna Harris
The project aims to better understand the state of Latina/o education in the Rochester City School District. The issue of Latina/o academic underachievement and dropout has been a persistent problem documented nationally and locally. With public schools serving increasing numbers of Latina/o students, it is necessary to understand the factors that promote success as well as the barriers and systems that limit and derail schooling.
The Education Task Force (overseen by Ibero American Action League) includes many people from the local community, Puerto Rican Youth Development, the Rochester City School District, and the Warner School of Education (including Dr. Nancy Ares).
$15,000 mini grant, Warner School of Education; $2,000 NASPA Foundation
In collaboration with the Ibero-American Action League, Donna Harris and Judy Marquez Kiyama are co-directing a mixed methods study to examine both the resources that promote and barriers that impact Latina/o student transitions and success in secondary schools from the perspective of the families and students.
In light of the persistent and dismal outcomes for a disproportionate number of Latina/o students in the Rochester city schools, there has been a recent call to action promoted by the Ibero-American Action League to foster a community-based effort to examine the complex issues related to educational attainment (Ibero-American Action League, 2008). This study is an outgrowth of Ibero’s efforts to understand and address Latina/o educational attainment and the dropout issue in particular. This project focuses on two questions:
• What are the critical transition points for Latina/o students in the Rochester City School District?
• What contributes to the development of educational aspirations of Latina/o students?
The project has several objectives related to Latina/o education. First, this study is to understand the key grade level transition points where Latina/o students are being prevented from moving through the Rochester city schools. Second, family and student voices will provide insights about the conditions that either support or promote successful movement of Latina/os between middle and high school grades. Third, major findings based on statistical analysis of the quantitative student dataset and focus groups themes will inform recommendations to address conditions that foster the underachievement of Latina/o students.
This study uses a mixed methods approach to examine student attainment (i.e. student achievement, retention, high school completion, college attendance, and dropout status) and experiences. Attainment is examined by using a database non-identifiable student data from the Rochester City School District to understand relationships between Latina/o student course placement, achievement outcomes, retention, and dropout status and student and school-level characteristics between 2003 and 2007. In order to examine the factors that contribute to the successful transition and educational development of Latina/o students at the secondary level, 31 focus groups among parents/guardians, students, and community members have been conducted. These focus groups brought together a diverse sample of Latina/os families in Rochester to identify resources that exist among this diverse ethnic, cultural, and linguistic community that promote student persistence and success as well the systemic barriers that limit the educational experiences.
Read the Executive Summary
Read the Presentation
Read the Report
Kiyama, Harris Contribute to WROC-TV Story on Experiences of Latino Youth
Warner Study Referenced in Democrat and Chronicle Editorial