ERIC Number: ED382416
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Cultural and Parental Influences on Achievement among Native American Students in Barstow Unified School District.
Leveque, Dorothy M.
The academic achievement of Native American students in the United States has consistently been the lowest in the nation. This study examined the school performance, involvement of Native parents in the school life of their children, and assimilation patterns of a specific group of Native Americans who have lived in Barstow, California, for at least three generations. The case study approach used participant observation, ethnographic interview, and documentary analysis. Analysis of norm-referenced test data indicated that Native American students (K-12) in Barstow Unified School District (BUSD) scored as well as, or better than, the BUSD mean percentile scores for the total student population and the Caucasian subpopulation in all areas except second-grade reading in 1992 and third-grade reading in 1993. Between 1991 and 1993, the dropout rate for Native American students was only 10 percent, and the honor roll rate was 30 percent. At least 36 percent of Native students who attended BUSD between 1988 and 1993 continued their education past high school. The strongest link between educational opportunities and Native student achievement was found in the involvement of parents in the design and implementation of programs. The Native American families in Barstow are the descendants of Navajo and Pueblo railroad workers who chose to come to Barstow (thus assuming "immigrant" characteristics). Full assimilation into the majority culture occurred over three generations. Thus, the strongest elements contributing to Native student achievement were parental involvement and family acculturation patterns. The findings suggest that Ogbu's categories of immigrant and nonimmigrant minorities are not static, and that nonimmigrant minorities may not be bound to their castelike status. (KS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Barstow Unified School District CA; Indian Education Act 1988 Title V; Native Americans
Note: Paper presented at the National Meeting of the Comparative and International Educational Society (San Diego, CA, March 1994).