Data System-Embedded Analysis Support's Implications for Latino Students and Diverse Classrooms

Data System-Embedded Analysis Support's Implications for Latino Students and Diverse Classrooms

Jenny Grant Rankin (University of Cambridge, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1213-5.ch042

Abstract

Urban school populations are particularly diverse, requiring teachers to see to a broad spectrum of student needs. Latinos are the largest and fastest growing racial/ethnic minority group of students in the U.S., and the majority of Latino students live in urban areas. Data can be a powerful tool when used by teachers to target specific student needs, especially those of subgroups with a history of academic struggle. Latino students are commonly featured in not just one, but three large subgroups that typically struggle academically when compared to peers outside these subgroups: the Hispanic, Socio-economically Disadvantaged, and English Learner subgroups. It is vital teachers use data to better understand and meet these students' needs. However, such data use can only benefit students if teachers understand its meaning and implications. This chapter highlights study findings that can significantly improve teachers' ability to use data to help Latinos and other students in diverse classrooms.
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Introduction

Urban school populations are particularly diverse, requiring teachers to see to a broad spectrum of student needs. Latinos are the largest and fastest growing racial/ethnic minority group of students in the U.S., comprising 24% of the U.S. children population, which will grow to over 33% by 2050 (Murphey, Guzman, & Torres, 2014). Conversely, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics other racial/ethnic groups have remained relatively stagnant (as with African American students) or are not growing as rapidly (Aud, Fox, & KewalRamani, 2010). Latinos are more likely to live in urban areas. For example, most Latinos (45%) live in urban areas, with 31% in suburban areas, 8% in towns, and 14% in rural areas (Aud et al., 2010). Latino students in the U.S. live predominantly in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty, where they are further faced with crime and poor housing, and facing threats to their well-being (Murphey et al., 2014).

Data can be a powerful, pivotal tool when used by educators to target specific student needs, especially those of subgroups with a history of academic struggle (Faria et al., 2012). For example, in a two-year study involving 53 schools, well-implemented data-informed decision-making was found to have a significantly positive impact on students, equivalent to one additional month of schooling; gains were especially significant for socioeconomically disadvantaged students (van Geel, Keuning, Visscher, & Fox, 2016). Latino students in the U.S. comprise particularly relevant subgroups in this respect, as can be seen in 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results involving the testing of fourth and eighth grade students throughout the country (see Figure 1). The 2013 NAEP revealed an average of 21% of Hispanic students (the subgroup to which Latino students are assigned) were proficient in Reading, as opposed to 46% proficiency averaged by whites, and 23.5% of Hispanic students were proficient in Mathematics, as opposed to 49.5% proficiency averaged by whites (National Center for Education Statistics [NCES], 2013). When compared to students in the White and Black subgroups, Hispanic students are the least likely to be academically ready for kindergarten (ASCD. 2015). Hispanic students are also least likely to have a mother with a bachelor’s degree (11%) when compared to students who are Asian (51%), white (36%), black (17%), American Indian/Alaska Native (16%), or of two or more races (31%) (Aud et al., 2010). However, data can only benefit students if teachers understand its meaning and implications. This chapter will highlight current problems with teacher data use, as well as a cost-free, research based solution to misguided data use that can significantly improve teachers’ ability to use data to help Latinos and other students.

Figure 1.

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