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ERIC Number: ED547525
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 179
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2674-5342-6
The Hispanic-Asian Achievement Gap in Elementary School
Martinez, Lina Maria
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
There is little research of Hispanic and Asian children's educational outcomes; in particular, the achievement gap between these two racial/ethnic groups has not been fully explored. The objective of this investigation is to analyze the Hispanic-Asian achievement gap in elementary school using the ECLS-K, a longitudinal nationally representative study. I provide detailed descriptive analysis of the trajectory of the gap from kindergarten to fifth grade. Analysis is conducted using three approaches. First, I estimated the mean achievement gap in elementary school and the relative contribution of family, school and teacher factors to the gap. Second, I decomposed the Hispanic-Asian gap into explained and unexplained parts due to observed differences. Finally, I explored whether the achievement gap is persistent across the conditional distribution of test scores. Reading and math scores are the outcome variables. It is found that Hispanic students enter kindergarten with math and reading skills significantly lower as compared to Asians. In kindergarten the unadjusted reading gap starts at .668 standard deviations below the mean, steadily narrows until third grade but flattens until fifth grade. Math unadjusted gap is larger and presents a different trajectory over time; it starts at .816 standard deviations below the mean, narrows in first grade and broadens again in fifth grade. Overall, I find that the main predictors of the Hispanic-Asian achievement gap are family socioeconomic factors. Teacher and school factors have a marginal predictive power in explaining the gap. Decomposition analysis indicate that differences in observables between Hispanics and Asians children in family, school and teacher factors explain between 22% and 49% of the reading achievement gap in kindergarten. By fifth grade, these factors explain between 34% and 62% of the observed achievement gap; I find similar a pattern for math. Quantile regression estimates shows that the achievement gap is persistent across the entire distribution of test scores. However I find a shift in the pattern of the achievement gap as children progress in the school years. I finalize my analysis by concluding that out-school-factors are the major drivers of the Hispanic-Asian achievement gap and recommend policy interventions aimed at enhance educational attainment amongst socioeconomic disadvantaged Hispanic children. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey