Date of Award

Summer 2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)

Department

Department of Graduate Psychology

Abstract

Research has established that diversity in student populations within U.S schools is increasing at a rapid rate. With Latino students constituting the fastest growing minority population, it becomes more important to establish a positive home-school connection with parents. In addition, while some progress has been made in closing the achievement gap between Caucasian and minority students, this gap continues to show minority students achieving at a rate much lower than Caucasian students. The current study examined what resources school districts offer for parents from ethnic and racially diverse backgrounds, specifically addressing Latino parents. Four districts were picked out of a random sample of 15 school districts around the Seattle, Washington area based off data comparison between Caucasian and Latino students in three areas measuring student achievement. One informant from each of these districts selected participated by answering a seven item, open-ended questionnaire completed through interview techniques. Overall findings support that, no matter how small or large the achievement gap is between Caucasian and Latino students in their district, informants are aware of the need to seek out additional resources and methods to include Latino parents in the educational system. Results also indicated that school systems need to provide more trainings to staff on the Latino culture, in order to learn better ways to communicate with them, give them the pertinent information they need to know about the school system, and to create a more welcoming school environment. Implications and limitations of the current study and directions for future research are also discussed.

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Psychology Commons

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