Differences in the college-readiness rates of English Language Learners by gender, economic status, and ethnicity/race: A Texas statewide, multiyear investigation



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Purpose The purpose of this journal-ready dissertation was to determine the degree to which differences were present in reading, mathematics, and both subjects college-readiness for English Language Learners who were enrolled in Texas high schools. In the first investigation, the extent to which English Language Learner boys differ in their college-readiness from English Language Learner girls was addressed. In the second study, the degree to which college-readiness differed by the economic status of English Language Learners was ascertained. Finally, in the third investigation, the extent to which college-readiness differed by the ethnicity/race of English Language Learners was determined. In each of these three empirical investigations, eight years of Texas statewide public school data were analyzed. Through this multiyear analysis, the degree to which trends were present in college-readiness of English Language Learners as a function of their gender, economic status, and ethnicity/race was determined. Method A non-experimental, causal-comparative research design (Creswell, 2009) was used in this study. Analyzed were archival data from the Texas Education Agency Public Education Information Management System for the 2004-2005 through the 2010-2011 school years. Independent variables were gender, economic status, and the ethnicity/race of Texas English Language Learners and the dependent variables were the reading, mathematics, and both subjects college-readiness performance.
Findings With respect to gender, English Language Learner girls outperformed English Language Learner boys in reading college-readiness and in both subjects college-readiness, whereas English Language Learner boys outperformed English Language Learner girls in mathematics college-readiness. Regarding economic status, English Language Learners who were economically disadvantaged had lower college-readiness in reading, mathematics, and in both subjects than English Language Learners who were not economically disadvantaged. Concerning ethnicity/race, Asian English Language Learner had higher college-readiness in all three areas than did White, Hispanic, and Black English Language Learners. Of note was that no White English Language Learners in Texas were college-ready in any of the three areas in any of the 7 school years and that low percentages of English Language Learners were college-ready. Results were consistent across the 7 years of school data that were analyzed. Implications for policy and recommendations for research were provided.



KEY WORDS: English Language Learners, College-readiness, Gender, Economically disadvantaged, Ethnicity/Race, Reading, Mathematics, Both subjects