Date of Award

12-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Education (M.Ed.)

Department

College of Education

Abstract

Research has overwhelmingly shown that something needs to be done to combat the increasing problem of high minority drop-out rates. Many people still do not acknowledge that schools need to do anything differently. Instead the problem is blamed on the home life and economics. Some teachers feel that low-income inner city, minority students, simply are not capable of being successful academically. Society often does not realize how poor the minority drop out rates are in their school districts. Some administrations have chosen to hide the statistics. For instance one New York school district in this research promoted that almost all their graduates were going to college. That fact may have been true, but they failed to mention that only 20 percent of the students that started in ninth grade had actually graduated from that graduating class. Research has found that many minority students have stated that they felt they were being pushed out of school for poor academic performance, and that they didn’t feel like they fit in socially. One area of research that points to added success academically and socially for minority students was to amend the literature curriculum. The studies showed that by embedding culture and diversity into the literature curriculum, minority students became much more engaged in the lessons. With higher engagement levels the students felt like they fit in more socially, and could relate personally to the stories. If students can relate personally to the literature then they are more engaged, and thus more successful academically as well.

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