ERIC Number: ED344974
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
"I Was An Outsider": Dropping Out among Puerto Rican Youths in Holyoke, Massachusetts.
Frau-Ramos, Manuel; Nieto, Sonia
A study was done to examine the reasons why Puerto Rican youth from the Holyoke (Massachusetts) Public School System drop out of high school and the effect of dropping out of school on the Latino community. The study was conducted using data provided by the Holyoke School Department and drawn from Students' cumulative folders and school district annual reports, which provided information on administrative practices and policies, students' socioeconomic background, and academic performance. The study population included 125 members of the 273 Holyoke High School graduating class of 1990 and 82 students who dropped out during their junior or senior year. Three male dropouts were located and interviewed by telephone. Findings indicate the following: (1) a 68 percent dropout rate among Puerto Rican youth; (2) a lower dropout rate for Puerto Rican students born in Holyoke compared to those born in Puerto Rico; (3) those enrolled in the Transitional Bilingual Education program were half as likely to leave school; (4) the gap between Hispanic Americans and Whites was largest in the area of ability grouping; (5) the curriculum is at odds with the experiences and culture of the majority of students; (6) Hispanic American students had higher grade point averages overall than did White students; and (7) Spanish was the primary language among Hispanic American high school students. Implications of the study for school policy and practice are considered under the following headings; (1) Maintain and strengthen bilingual progams; (2) Reform the curriculum; (3) Rethink ability grouping; (4) Revise retention policies; (5) Develop work-study programs as incentives for young people to stay in school; (6) Improve counseling practices; (7) Maintain reliable records and accurate information about dropouts; (8) Reform disciplinary policies; (9) Investigate teacher--student interactions; and (10) Develop a more welcoming school climate. Included are 63 references. (JB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Massachusetts Univ., Boston. Mauricio Gaston Inst. for Latino Community Development and Public Policy.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Massachusetts (Holyoke)