A Community-Based Approach to Understanding the Educational Experiences of Urban Latina/os
4. School Policies as Barriers for Latina/o Student Persistence
Student Voices as a Means to Examine Policy
4. School Policies as Barriers for Latina/o Student Persistence1
DONNA MARIE HARRIS AND JUDY MARQUEZ KIYAMA
The implementation of educational policy has many purposes, including providing regulations and incentives that promote change in order to improve student development and outcomes (McDonnell & Elmore, 1987). While considerable research has focused attention on the impact of federal and state policy efforts on improving student outcomes (Grissmer, Ober, & Beckman, 2014; Helig, 2011; Roderick, Jacob, & Bryk, 2002; Winters & Cowen, 2012), this chapter focuses on how local school policy and practices in the Rochester City School District, such as bilingual resources, in-school suspension, and transportation, impact Latina/o student persistence in secondary school. Despite the intentions of educational policies and practices as a means of addressing school-level issues, we must consider the ways in which they present obstacles and have a negative impact on the persistence of racialized students (Dei, 2003; Dei, Mazzuca, McIsaac, & Zine, 1997; Fine, 1991). Rummens and Dei (2010) argue that schools often exclude students who possess identities that reflect different social experiences based on background characteristics such as race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, language status, and gender. For Latina/o students in the U.S. who have complex cultural, linguistic, and geographical identities, the essence of who they are may be contested in schools. When any aspect of student identities is contested as a result of school policies and practices, then school disengagement can occur as a result of marginalization, “a process of social de-valuation that...
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