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ERIC Number: ED412220
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
"At-Risk": A Measure of School Failure in American Education.
Rodriguez, Jorge
At-risk students are defined as those who are in danger of not graduating from school. These potential dropouts can be characterized by a variety of factors that lead to educational underachievement. In this study, the outcome explored is "outcast," a combination of student behavioral factors that captures student alienation from school in the larger context of being "at-risk." The focus is on social and school structures that impair students' abilities to learn and grow. Data are from the base year of the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988, a study of the educational status of about 25,000 eighth graders. A multivariate regression analysis used the outcast factor as the dependent or outcome variable with these independent variables introduced to determine their effects on "outcast": Hispanic or African American status, socioeconomic status, gender, family structure (single parent or no parent), middle school grade point average, parent-child communication, family stress, and student perceptions of control or luck ("nocontrol"). The multivariate regression analysis demonstrated that the observed stratification between ethnic and gender groups was mediated for Hispanics with the inclusion of the "nocontrol" reports, suggesting at least some degree of internalization of one's own outcast characteristics. The African American group continued to be significant in outcast status despite the inclusion of this factor. The research also demonstrated that school suspensions are more likely to be imposed on African American males in particular. In the final analysis, it seems that until we revise schooling to treat people as individuals in context and not as pawns or agents of a system, disparate treatment will continue and effective educational reform may be beyond our grasp. Four appendixes present charts from the regression analyses. (Contains 10 tables and 16 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A