February 19, 2015
- Macarena Gomez-Barris, Ph.D.
Academic Achievement and Opportunity
This study was conducted to discuss the inequities that exist among high schools in Southern California. Considering the issues that exist within high schools in Los Angeles County, this study compares a small sample of six schools in two California counties. Three schools were selected from Los Angeles Union School District in Los Angeles County and three from Anaheim Union High School District in Orange County to represent the demographics and curriculum in each county. In examining inequalities, the following factors were taken into consideration: curriculum, availability of college-preparatory courses, tracking, early academic and pre-college outreach programs, demographics, and standardized test scores. These inequities reveal differences in school policies, practices, and structure that may contribute to academic achievement and entrance into higher education of students attending these high schools. This study opens up the potential for future work that would add a qualitative dimension examining the expectation gap and the responsibility of institutions and educators to inspire and motivate in addition to their basic teaching duties.