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Abstract

Using the cultural-ecological and culturally relevant theory as the theoretical overarching framework, this study works to quantify the high school achievement gap in mathematics and reading IRT scores between immigrants and U.S.-born black minorities as well as between these students and whites. Based on a nationally representative sample of 1,669 black and 8,682 white students from the NCES Education Longitudinal Study of 2002, a hierarchical linear regression model confirmed that the achievement in mathematics and reading was statistically significant and higher for voluntary compared to involuntary black minorities, but with a small effect size of about one-tenth of a standard deviation. The black-white achievement gap among native black students in these subjects was found to be approximately three times that of voluntary immigrants. The study recommends a critical analysis of individual and structural variables that influence the academic performance of diverse black minority students.

Author Bio(s)

Regina J. Giraldo-Garcia is an adjunct instructor of Educational Research and Evaluation in the Department of Curriculum and Foundations, in the College of Education and Human Services at Cleveland State University. Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Giraldo-García's research interest includes social justice in education, the academic achievement of minority groups, and the use of technology in educational environments.

Dr. Joshua G. Bagaka's is a professor of educational research design and statistics in the Department of Curriculum and Foundations in the College of Education and Human Services and director of Assessment of Student Learning at Cleveland State University. Cleveland, Ohio.

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