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ERIC Number: ED502054
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Computer Use, Parental Expectations, & Latino Academic Achievement
Taningco, Maria Teresa V.; Pachon, Harry P.
Tomas Rivera Policy Institute
In the United States, traditionally underrepresented minority children have lower levels of academic achievement than their white counterparts. In the broadest perspective, this quantitative study seeks to help stakeholders and policymakers understand the factors responsible for Hispanic or Latino student achievement relative to that of comparison groups. The key dependent variables in this study are student achievement in reading and writing, and in math and science. Specifically, the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute (TRPI) examines the impact on reading and writing, math and science achievement levels of computer use both at school and at home, and of teacher preparation for computer-based instruction. TRPI researchers analyzed the effects of these factors not only on comprehension of math and science, but also on reading and writing since research demonstrates that reading and writing ability facilitates understanding of math and science. Several studies have evaluated the relationship between computer use and academic achievement; however, these studies include a variety of limitations: (1) being outdated; (2) examining only math and not science achievement; (3) lack of a control group; (4) examining a limited sample; and (5) a lack of focus on Latinos. Moreover, TRPI examines whether or not effects of race/ethnicity on achievement levels persist once confounding variables are controlled for. Along with computer usage, this study also investigates the effects of other explanatory criteria such as parental expectations, race/ethnicity, language spoken at home, mother's education, and poverty level. A comparative analysis for both the Latino and non-Latino samples was conducted. Additionally, the dataset is rich enough to allow the models TRPI analyzed to be controlled for selection bias by incorporating child and family characteristics including child's previous achievement (to control for ability). This study analyzes data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS) which provides a nationally-representative sample of over 11,000 fifth graders. While this study focuses on the overall sample of children across all races/ethnicities, it also attempts to discuss any implications of the findings on Hispanics. Significant findings of TRPI's analysis are as follows: (1) Once confounding variables are controlled for, the gaps in academic achievement between Hispanics/Latinos and their white counterparts disappear for reading and writing and math, and decrease for science achievement; (2) sufficiency of technical computer support provided to teachers has the most consistent positive effects on most scores; and (3) mother's education and parental expectations have consistently positive effects on scores. Appended are: (1) Data used in the models; and (2) Descriptive analysis. (Contains 3 tables and 6 figures.)
Tomas Rivera Policy Institute. University of Southern California, School of Policy, Planning, and Development, Ralph and Goldie Lewis Hall, 650 Childs Way Suite 102, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626. Tel: 213-821-5615; Fax: 213-821-1976; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Grade 5
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: IBM International Foundation
Authoring Institution: Tomas Rivera Policy Inst., Claremont, CA.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A