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ERIC Number: ED531482
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Apr
Pages: 38
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 70
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Analyzing Performance by Pennsylvania Grade 8 Hispanic Students on the 2007/08 State Assessment. REL Technical Brief. REL 2012-No. 025
Pong, Suet-ling; Strickland, Martha; Wise, John
Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic
Between 2000 and 2009, the Hispanic population more than doubled in 25 of 67 Pennsylvania counties. Over the same period, the Hispanic student population in Pennsylvania schools also rose, from 4 percent to 8 percent (Pennsylvania State Data Center 2011). The focus on Hispanic students' level of academic achievement rose along with this rapid population growth. Recent research reveals that, although the achievement gap between ethnic subgroups at the national level has been shrinking over the past five years, the gap remains wide (Aud et al. 2010). This is also the case and a matter of concern in Pennsylvania. Research has identified several student-level factors associated with academic achievement among ethnic minority students, including gender and socioeconomic status (Freeman 2004; McGraw, Lubienski, and Strutchens 2006; Pong 2010); English language learner status (Eamon 2005; Reardon and Galindo 2007; Terwilliger and Magnuson 2005); special education status (Sanchez et al. 2009); and mobility (Suarez-Orozco, Gaytan, and Kim 2010). School-level factors also influence student achievement. One contributing factor is the proportion of special needs students in a school, whether because they come from a low-income household (Sirin 2005), have a disability (Kalambouka et al. 2007), or are English language learner students (Schmid 2001). School-level factors also include school dropout rates (Sanchez et al. 2009), school size (Crosnoe 2005), the proportion of ethnic minority students (Coleman 1966), student-teacher ratio (Nye, Hedges, and Konstantopoulos 2004), and school locale (Pong 1998). Two research questions guided this study: (1) How does the performance of Pennsylvania grade 8 Hispanic students on the 2007/08 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment English language arts and math tests compare with that of grade 8 non-Hispanic White, Black, and other non-Hispanic students?; and (2) Among Pennsylvania grade 8 Hispanic students, which student- and school-level characteristics are associated with performance on the 2007/08 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment English language arts and math tests? The data used for this study were the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) scores collected by the Data Recognition Corporation for the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In addition to the PSSA, the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Bureau of Assessment and Accountability provided demographic data for all grade 8 students in 2007/08, and publicly available school-level data were also accessed from the department's website. Additional demographic school data were obtained from the publicly accessible Common Core of Data of the National Center for Education Statistics (U.S. Department of Education 2008). Key findings show: (1) The difference in performance of grade 8 Hispanic students and non-Hispanic students was 174 scaled score points on the PSSA reading test and 123 scaled score points on the math test; (2) Scores on both the PSSA reading and math tests were significantly lower for Hispanic students than for White students and for students of other ethnicities. Hispanic students' and Black students' scores were not significantly different on the reading test, but scores on the math test were significantly higher for Hispanic students than for Black students; (3) There was a statistically significant relationship between Hispanic students' PSSA test scores and gender, special education status, eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch status, and English language learner status. There was not a statistically significant relationship between PSSA scores and migrant status; and (4) There was a statistically significant relationship between Hispanic students' PSSA test scores and school size, the proportion of Hispanic students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, and whether the school reported having students who dropped out. There was not a statistically significant relationship between PSSA scores and the percentage of grade 8 English language learner students, percentage of grade 8 students receiving special education services, percentage of Hispanic students, student-teacher ratio, and school locale (urban, suburban, town, or rural). Appended are: (1) Summary of previous research on Hispanic students' academic achievement; (2) Data removal process; (3) Multiple imputation; (4) Sensitivity analyses; and (5) Study methods. (Contains 2 boxes, 2 figures, 16 tables and 9 notes.
Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic. Available from: Pennsylvania State University, 108 Rackley Building, University Park, PA 16802. Tel: 866-735-6239; e-mail: info@relmid-atlantic.org; Web site: http://rel.educ.psu.edu
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Grade 8
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic (ED)
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania
IES Funded: Yes