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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Dennis Brennan

First Committee Member

Lynn Beck

Second Committee Member

Antonio Serna

Third Committee Member

Antonio Borda


The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact of the socioeconomic factors of parent education level and family income on the academic achievement of students of Hispanic and white ethnicities. Scaled scores from the 2009 administration of the California Standards Tests in English language arts and mathematics and matched demographic information for 18,000 second through fifth grade students from six school districts in the San Joaquin Valley constituted the data source for this study. Multiple regressions were the primary statistical test used to analyze the data. The results showed a statistically significant gap in achievement between Hispanic and white students. After correcting for socioeconomic status and students of limited English proficiency, a residual achievement gap of roughly 0.1 of a standard deviation remained between white and Hispanic students. Further analysis showed no gap at low socioeconomic levels and a widening discrepancy in scores with increasing family income and parental education levels. These results may be indicative of differential expectations for white and Hispanic students. Additional testing for the effects of school-wide variables found a small negative impact on student achievement for schools with high average parental education levels, possibly caused by stronger interventions at schools with low average parental education.





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