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Method

Participants

Participants for this study were selected from the Texas Education Agency Academic Excellence Indicator System which collects and stores data pertaining to the TAKS standardized examinations. Participants were chosen for this study based on their ethnicity (i.e., Hispanic), programmatic label (i.e., students labeled as Limited English Proficient), and involvement in the fifth grade Reading and Math TAKS examination scores from the most recent seven school years. Fifth grade was selected because students are required to complete the TAKS, when it was administered in the spring of each year.

The term, Limited English Proficient (LEP), is defined by the Texas Education Agency as:

Students identified as limited English proficient by the Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC) according to criteria established in the Texas Administrative Code. Not all pupils identified as LEP receive bilingual or English as a second language instruction, although most do. (http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/aeis/2008/glossary.htmlhttp://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/aeis/2008/glossary.html)

All students whose scores in reading and math were utilized for the schools’ passing rates were either Hispanic or designated as LEP by the Texas Education Agency.

The number of schools in the State of Texas that reported passing rates in reading and in math of Hispanic students and of students with LEP varied by school year. Texas does not permit the release of information that might allow students to be identified. Thus, in cases where all Hispanic students at a school obtained a passing score in reading or in math, their data would not be publically available. Similarly, when small numbers of either Hispanic students or students with LEP are present at a school, their data would also not be made publically available. Sample sizes of schools are present in Tables 1 through 6. In every case, however, the sample size for each statistical analysis was over 1,000 schools.

Instrumentation

Archival data collected through the Academic Excellence Indicator System across a 7 year time period (i.e., 2002-2009) were used to determine the extent to which an achievement gap existed between Hispanic students and students with LEP. The Academic Excellence Indicator System, a composite of information pertaining to all Texas school students, was first compiled in 1984 in response to the achievement gap between White students and non-White students and accountability within schools and districts across Texas (Academic Excellence Indicator System, http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/aeis/about.aeis.html). Each year, annual reports are added to the AEIS website and the performance of students are reported in the following areas: results of the TAAS and the TAKS tests; passing rates of students; attendance rates; progress prior year TAKS failures; Exit-level TAKS cumulative passing rates; annual drop out rates; completion rates; and college readiness indicators (Academic Excellence Indicator System, (External Link) ). With the objective of this research study being to examine differences in academic achievement between Hispanic students and students who were Limited English Proficient, data downloaded were the passing rates on the TAKS Reading and Math exams by ethnic membership and programmatic enrollment.

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Source:  OpenStax, The achievement gap between white and non-white students. OpenStax CNX. Jan 10, 2012 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11402/1.4
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