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An analysis of the impact of parent education level and family income on the academic achievement of students of Hispanic and white ethnicities

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2011
Dissertation
Author: Scott M Siegel
Abstract:
The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact of the socioeconomic factors of parent education level and family income on the academic achievement of students of Hispanic and white ethnicities. Scaled scores from the 2009 administration of the California Standards Tests in English language arts and mathematics and matched demographic information for 18,000 second through fifth grade students from six school districts in the San Joaquin Valley constituted the data source for this study. Multiple regressions were the primary statistical test used to analyze the data. The results showed a statistically significant gap in achievement between Hispanic and white students. After correcting for socioeconomic status and students of limited English proficiency, a residual achievement gap of roughly 0.1 of a standard deviation remained between white and Hispanic students. Further analysis showed no gap at low socioeconomic levels and a widening discrepancy in scores with increasing family income and parental education levels. These results may be indicative of differential expectations for white and Hispanic students. Additional testing for the effects of school-wide variables found a small negative impact on student achievement for schools with high average parental education levels, possibly caused by stronger interventions at schools with low average parental education.

TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION 1 Background 1 Problem Statement 2 Purpose of the Study 3 Research Questions 4 Significance of the Study 4 Definitions 6 II. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 9 General Background on the Achievement Gap 9 Development of the Achievement Gap Over Time 11 Development of the Achievement Gap Across Age Levels and Ability Levels 14 Timing of the Onset of the Achievement Gap 14 Development of the Achievement Gap Across Grade Levels 16 The Achievement Gap Across Ability Levels 18 Demographic Trends Impacting the Achievement Gap 19 Factors Affecting the Achievement Gap 22 Home Educational Environmental Factors 22 Socioeconomic Factors-Family Income Level 24 Socioeconomic Factors-Parental Education Level 26 School-wide Socioeconomic Factors 28 viii

Interactions Between Ethnicity and Socioeconomic Factors 30 Language Status 33 Models of the Achievement Gap 34 Summary of the Hispanic-White Achievement Gap Literature 36 IE. METHODOLOGY 39 Justification of the Study 39 Research Questions 40 Selection of Sample 41 Instrumentation 42 Data Collection 44 Data Analysis 48 Research Question One: Lunch Status, Ethnicity and Achievement 52 Research Question Two: Parent Education Level, Ethnicity and Achievement 52 Research Question Three: Interactions 52 Research Question Four: Language Status 53 Research Question Five: School-wide Factors 54 Statistical Significance 54 Data Reporting 55 Methodological Limitations 57 Summary of Methodology 58 ix

IV. RESULTS 59 Demographic Information 60 Research Question One: Family Income 63 Research Question Two: Parent Education Level 65 Research Question Three: Interaction Effects 67 NSLP Eligibility and Ethnicity Interaction Term 67 NSLP Eligibility and Ethnicity Interaction Post Hoc Analysis 69 NSLP Eligibility and Ethnicity Graphical Analysis 72 Parent Education Level and Ethnicity Interaction Term 76 Parent Education Level and Ethnicity Interaction Post Hoc Analysis 78 Parent Education Level and Ethnicity Graphical Analysis 82 Research Question Five: School-Wide Socioeconomic Factors 87 School-wide NSLP Eligibility 88 School-wide Parent Education Level 91 School-wide Ethnic Homogeneity 93 Summary of Results 95 V. DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS 96 Findings and Conclusions 96 The Achievement Gap and Family Income 97 The Achievement Gap and Parental Education 98 The Achievement Gap and Socioeconomic Status 99 The Achievement Gap and Interaction Effects 100 The Achievement Gap and School-wide Factors 102 x

Discussion 104 Recommendations for Practice 106 Recommendations for Further Research 108 Final Statement 110 REFERENCES 112 APPENDICES A. SCHOOL LEVEL DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION 119 B. STATISTICAL TEST OUTPUTS 123 xi

LIST OF FIGURES Figures Page 1. Predicted English language arts CST scaled scores for all students 72 2. Predicted mathematics CST scaled scores for all Students 73 3. Predicted English language arts CST scaled scores with EL students excluded 74 4. Predicted mathematics CST scaled scores with EL students excluded 74 5. Predicted English language arts CST scaled scores for all students 83 6. Predicted mathematics CST scaled scores for all students 84 7. Predicted English language arts CST scaled scores with EL students excluded 85 8. Predicted mathematics CST scaled scores with EL students excluded 85 xii

LIST OF TABLES Table Page 1. Definition of Variables 45 2. Statistical Tests 50 3. Summary Demographic Data for Participating School Districts 61 4. Regression Results for NSLP Eligibility and Ethnicity 64 5. Regression Results for Parent Education Level and Ethnicity 66 6. Regression Results for NSLP Eligibility and Ethnicity Interaction Term 68 7. NSLP Eligibility and Ethnicity Interaction Post Hoc Analysis Variables 69 8. Regression Results for NSLP Eligibility and Ethnicity Interaction Term 70 9. Slopes and Ratios of Slopes for NSLP and Ethnicity Regression Models 75 10. Regression Results for Parent Education Level and Ethnicity Interaction Term 77 11. Parent Education Level and Ethnicity Interaction Post Hoc Analysis Variables 79 12. Regression Results for Parent Education Level and Ethnicity Interaction Term 80 13. Slopes and Ratios of Slopes for PEL and Ethnicity Regression Models 87 14. Regression Results for Parent Education Level, NSLP Eligibility Status and Ethnicity 88 xm

15. Regression Results for School-wide NSLP Eligibility 90 16. Regression Results for School-wide Parent Education Level 91 17. Regression Results for School-wide Ethnic Homogeneity 94 xiv

CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Background The discrepancies in the academic achievement of students of different ethnicities and socioeconomic status have been of concern to educators since the Coleman report first documented the achievement gap over four decades ago (Coleman et al, 1966; Murphy, 2010; Viaderi, 2006). Indeed, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 made elimination of the achievement gap between racial groups a central goal (Lee, 2006). However, the passage of time has not yielded a significant narrowing of the size of the gap, although there have been well documented, albeit small, fluctuations in its magnitude (Lee, 2002; Murphy, 2010; Reardon & Robinson, 2008). The achievement gap has been identified early in childhood and has persistent effects well into adulthood, including reduced college completion rates and lifetime earning capacities (Kao & Thompson, 2003; Reardon & Robinson, 2008; Sirin, 2005). In California, Hispanic students constitute over fifty percent of the student age population (Fry & Gonzales, 2008). Accordingly, this study will specifically investigate the achievement gap between white and Hispanic students. Studies have consistently demonstrated the link between student academic achievement and socioeconomic status, a composite which includes parental education level, occupation and income (Sirin, 2005). This finding is important for this study as Hispanic students are more likely to

live in poverty and have parents with lower education levels than their white peers (Fry & Gonzales, 2008; Lee, 2004; Smith, 1995). The extent to which differences in the socioeconomic status of racial groups either partially or wholly accounts for the achievement gap remains an unanswered question (Kao & Thompson, 2003). This study analyzed the performance of Hispanic and white second through fifth grade students on the 2009 administration of the California Standards Tests in English language arts and mathematics. This age group was selected in order to discover if the achievement gap was present at the earliest common testing grades in California. Student demographics, including National School Lunch Program eligibility status and parent education level, were used to determine the extent of the unexplained achievement gap and investigate whether the two populations are impacted differently by these socioeconomic factors. Problem Statement An overarching question of the racial achievement gap is the extent to which it can be explained by differences in socioeconomic factors between ethnic groups (Kao & Thompson, 2003). The residual gap that persists after socioeconomic factors have been accounted for represents the racial achievement gap between ethnic groups. "What motivates current debates is how to describe the remaining racial and ethnic variation in outcomes net of these [socioeconomic] effects" (Kao & Thompson, 2003, p. 432). Identifying and analyzing the size and nature of the racial achievement gap between student groups was the central problem of this study. This dissertation focuses on white and Hispanic students as they constitute the largest population groups in Merced, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties, which encompass the geographic range of the study. 2

Murphy (2010) asserts, "Despite the contentions of some scholars, much of the research literature also indicates that racial achievement differences persist even after economic, parenting and other factors are controlled" (p. 74). Prior to identifying and understanding the causes of the Hispanic-white achievement gap, an accurate description and analysis of the size of the gap and the impact of socioeconomic factors on the gap would be useful. This would include any differential relationships of socioeconomics on the two groups in question. Given this study's inclusion of Hispanic students, who have a high incidence of students of limited English proficiency, analyzing the impact of student language status might isolate the extent to which a student's English proficiency contributes to the academic achievement gap. Language status as a term defines whether students are proficient in English or are English learners. In addition, school-wide socioeconomic factors might be a causal factor in the racial achievement gap. School-wide socioeconomic factors include composite measures of family income, parental education and ethnicity for the entire student body of a school. An analysis of these potential contributing factors to the achievement gap should provide a basis for future studies that delve into the causes of racial achievement discrepancies. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact of the socioeconomic factors of parent education level and family income on the academic achievement of students of Hispanic and white ethnicities. This ex post facto study used a sample of second through fifth grade students from selected school districts in California's Northern San Joaquin 3

Valley. Academic achievement was measured by scaled scores on the California Standards Tests in English language arts and mathematics administered in the spring of 2009. Research Questions The primary research questions of this study follow. 1. What is the relationship between National School Lunch Program (NSLP) eligibility and the academic achievement of Hispanic and white elementary grade students? 2. What is the relationship between parental education level and the academic achievement of Hispanic and white elementary grade students? 3. How does the relationship between socioeconomic factors and academic achievement scores differ by ethnicity for Hispanic and white elementary grade students? In addition, the following secondary research questions will be addressed. 4. To what degree does student language status impact the three primary research questions of this study? 5. To what degree do school-wide socioeconomic factors and ethnicities impact the three primary research questions of this study? Significance of the Study Given the size and growth of the Hispanic student population, particularly in California, any factor which impacts their academic achievement is of concern to educators. In addition, the connection between schooling outcomes and the ensuing economic conditions for individuals makes this topic of broad societal importance (Murphy, 2010). Murphy (2010) asserts that the "most studied achievement gap to date is between white students and African American students" (p. 10). Reardon and 4

Robinson (2008) add that "there is relatively little research on the patterns and trends of Hispanic-white achievement gaps" (p. 501). These two statements demonstrate the importance of collecting more data on the Hispanic-white achievement gap. This study will analyze the impact of socioeconomic factors on a sample of Hispanic and white students, but will not attempt to ascertain the underlying causes of any residual achievement gap that cannot be explained by differences in socioeconomic factors. Although an understanding of the causes of a residual achievement gap would be profoundly important for educators, a clearer description of the size and nature of such a gap must come first. If a racial gap is found to exist, or if family income and parental education impact Hispanic students differently than white students, this knowledge may inform the decision making of educators and policymakers. Likewise, the extent to which student language status and school-wide socioeconomic factors prove significant should also influence educational policy. For example, supposing that Hispanic students are found to have smaller achievement gains with increasing socioeconomic factors than their white peers, then educators may endeavor to identify and address the underlying causes of this discrepancy be they cultural or societal. On the other hand, if socioeconomic factors fully explain the gap, then there is not a racial achievement gap, and efforts would be better aimed at strategies that moderate the impacts of poverty and low parental education levels for all students. The extent to which language proficiency is a contributing factor may also direct efforts and resources toward more extensive programs for English language development. While teachers and administrators do not control the socioeconomic gaps between student groups, they may have the ability to affect 5

educational outcomes for students of all backgrounds, and, by fulfilling No Child Left Behind's goal of eliminating racial achievement gaps, ultimately educators may contribute to greater socioeconomic equity. Definitions Academic Achievement Gap: The achievement gap is the difference in academic achievement and other related outcomes measured between ethnic or socioeconomic groups (Murphy, 2010). At times, this term may be shortened to achievement gap, with the same meaning. California Standards Tests (CSTs): The academic achievement tests administered each year to California students in second through eleventh grades. For purposes of this study, student performance on these tests, reported as scaled score in English language arts and mathematics, constituted a measure of student academic achievement. Results on state standardized tests are commonly used to track the academic achievement gap between groups (Murphy, 2010). Ethnicity: Ethnicity was self reported by students' parents upon enrollment in a California school from a selection set including "white, not of Hispanic origin" and "Hispanic". This study included students whose parents reported student ethnicity as either Hispanic or white. "White" is used in place of the longer, "white, not of Hispanic origin," label. Students whose parents selected Hispanic as their ethnicity were largely of Mexican descent, as 84% of the 2008 Hispanic population in California was of Mexican origin (Pew Hispanic Center, 2010). In keeping with the conventions used by Murphy (2010), the term "white" is used without capitalization and the term "African American" is used in place of "black" except when direct quotes do otherwise. The literature is 6

inconsistent in regard to these conventions, but as a very recent, comprehensive source, Murphy's usage is followed in this study. Family Income: For purposes of this study, family income was measured using student eligibility for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) funded by the Department of Agriculture. Achievement gap research typically uses this eligibility as a measure of poverty or family income (Murphy, 2010). NSLP eligibility status ranges from free to reduced to ineligible (paid status) depending on family income guidelines established by the Department of Agriculture. Language Status: Language status for students was either English learner for students who had been identified as not being proficient in English upon entry to school or proficient in English for students who were identified as English only, initially fluent in English or had been re-designated as fluent in English following a program of English language development. It is important to note that students can be proficient in English and speak a language other than English. The participating school districts in this study maintain records that identify which students are considered to be non-proficient in English or English learners. The abbreviation EL is used for English learners when appropriate. Parent Education Level (PEL): For purposes of this study, parent education level was defined as the highest education level attained by either parent as self reported for purposes of the California state testing program. Racial (or Residual) Achievement Gap: Either of these terms was used to describe that portion of the achievement gap that cannot be accounted for by socioeconomic factors. Stated otherwise, these terms represent the achievement gap that remains if 7

socioeconomic factors were to be equalized between ethnic groups. The terms Hispanic- white achievement gap and African American-white achievement gap refer to the specific racial gaps between each pair of ethnicities. Socioeconomic Status (SES): A measurement that consists of the factors of parental education level, parental occupation status and parental income (Caldras & Bankston, 1997). For purposes of this study, only parental education level and income were considered as parental occupation data was not available. 8

CHAPTER II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE The purpose of this study is to analyze the impact of the socioeconomic factors of parent education level and family income on the academic achievement of students of Hispanic and white ethnicities. This topic has been of widespread interest to educational researchers since the Coleman Report of 1966 first documented discrepancies in educational outcomes based on ethnicity and socioeconomic status (Coleman et al, 1966; Viaderi, 2006). This review will detail the literature on the topics of (a) general background on the achievement gap, (b) development of the achievement gap over time, (c) development of the achievement gap across age levels and ability levels, (d) demographic trends impacting the achievement gap, (e) factors affecting the achievement gap, and (f) models of achievement gap factors. General Background on the Achievement Gap The achievement gap has been defined as the "pervasive racial and socioeconomic disparities in student achievement" (Lavin-Loucks, 2006, p. 2). This study will investigate the differential impact of socioeconomic factors on the achievement gap between students of white and Hispanic ethnicities. There is a well documented discrepancy between the socioeconomic background of Hispanic and white students (Fry & Gonzales, 2008; Smith, 1995). Therefore, the gap caused by socioeconomic status will be treated as an explanatory factor in the racial achievement 9

gap, with an interest in the residual gap not explained by socioeconomic variables, an approach consistent with research in the field (Kao & Thompson, 2003). Although the Hispanic-white achievement gap is the focus of this dissertation, information on the African American-white achievement gap is more abundant (Murphy, 2010; Reardon & Robinson, 2008). Therefore, research on the African American-white achievement gap will be included in this review as appropriate. How to measure the achievement gap data is of concern in the literature (Murphy, 2009; Reardon & Robinson, 2008). There are two primary questions to answer in this regard. First, what metrics, ranging from academic performance data to graduation rates, should be used (Kao & Thompson, 2003; Lavin-Loucks, 2006; Reardon & Robinson, 2008)? Reardon and Robinson (2008) assert that the use of standardized test scores is the most commonly used measure in achievement gap research. The second question that arises when comparing groups, involves deciding which descriptive statistics should be employed, as, for example, a single set of data can be interpreted differently using percent growth versus absolute growth (Murphy, 2009). Reardon and Robinson argue that consistency of instrument is important, as is the understanding that using a scaled score from a standardized test allows for relative comparisons, but may lose some meaning in absolute comparisons. They also propose that when comparing dissimilar instruments, reporting results using standard deviations is appropriate (Reardon & Robinson, 2008). The achievement gap has become a national education policy issue, shaping to a great degree the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001 (Lavin-Loucks, 2006; Lee, 2006). Lee (2006) concludes that NCLB has not accomplished its stated goal of 10

narrowing the achievement gap and promoting academic achievement among minority and low socioeconomic status students. A common trend in the empirical research on the achievement gap is to attempt to isolate the academic discrepancy between ethnicities net of socioeconomic status (Kao and Thompson, 2003). This approach is logical given the historical and ongoing correlation between some ethnic minorities (primarily Hispanic and African American) and low socioeconomic status and the correlation between socioeconomic status and academic achievement (Reardon & Robinson, 2008; Smith 1995). In the four decades since the Coleman Report was issued, a racial achievement gap persists, beyond what can be accounted for by socioeconomic differences between groups (Kao and Thompson, 2003; Lavin-Loucks, 2006; Murphy, 2010). Development of the Achievement Gap Over Time The generalized trend of the size of the achievement gap featured a narrowing through the 1970's and 1980's with a widening in the 1990's before returning to approximately prior levels in recent years (Murphy, 2010; Reardon & Robinson, 2008). With some variation, these patterns are true for both the African American-white and the Hispanic-white achievement gaps. Lee (2002) reported that the size of the gaps following this contraction, expansion and re-contraction now measure between a half and a full standard deviation unit. Lee did emphasize that the African American-white and Hispanic-white achievement gaps are not completely identical and should be studied individually as they are not subject to identical conditions, nor do they respond the same to interventions. Unfortunately, there is not extensive longitudinal empirical data from research studies on the achievement gap of students of different socioeconomic 11

backgrounds which might help explain the patterns observed with the African American- white and Hispanic-white achievement gaps (Reardon & Robinson, 2008). The Nation's Report Card provided by the National Assessment of Educational Progress in 2005, provides specific trend and size information on the development of the Hispanic-white achievement gap in grades four and eight (Perie, Grigg, & Dion, 2005; Perie, Grigg, & Donahue, 2005). For reading for grade four, the reported scaled score gap of 27 points in 1992 grew to a maximum value of 35 in 1994 and 2000, before declining to 26 points in 2005 (Perie, Grigg, & Donahue, 2005). For grade eight, a more stable pattern was reported, with an initial value of 26 scaled score points in 1992 that then varied between 24 and 27 points, before closing to 25 points in 2005 (Perie, Grigg, & Donahue, 2005). Overall, the eighth grade results showed less variability over time than did the fourth grade results. The 2005 size of this Hispanic-white achievement gap is three scaled points smaller than the gap reported for the African American-white achievement gap for both grade levels in question, although the pattern of change is similar for both ethnicities (Perie, Grigg, & Donahue, 2005). In the mathematics portion of The Nation's Report Card, the trends between the Hispanic-white and African American-white achievement gaps mirror those for reading, but with a larger level of discrepancy between the two groups (Perie, Grigg, & Dion, 2005). The fourth grade results commence with a reported Hispanic-white achievement gap of 20 scaled score points in 1990 and widen to maximum value of 27 points in the late 1990's before returning to the 20 point level in 2005 (Perie, Grigg, & Dion, 2005). As with reading, the eighth grade mathematics scores show less variability, beginning with a value of 24 points before peaking at 31 points in 2000 and then narrowing to 27 12

points in 2005 (Perie, Grigg, & Dion, 2005). For mathematics, the 2005 difference between the African American-white and Hispanic-white achievement gaps is in the 6 to 7 scaled point range, double the size reported for reading (Perie, Grigg, & Dion, 2005). Contrary to the assertion of Reardon & Robinson (2008) that there is limited information available on the achievement gap between high and low socioeconomic students, The Nation's Report Card for 2005 does provide information for students by eligibility for National School Lunch Program (NSLP) (Perie, Grigg, & Dion, 2005; Perie, Grigg, & Donahue, 2005). For reading, there was no reported change in the 27 scaled point gap between fourth grade students eligible for free the NSLP and those ineligible, while the eighth grade difference narrowed by a single scaled point from 24 to 23 scaled score points over the time period reported (Perie, Grigg, & Donahue, 2005). Mathematics was less static, with the fourth grade gap reducing from 24 to 19 scaled score points in the decade between 1996 and 2005, and eighth grade score gap shrinking from 29 to 27 scaled score points during the same time period (Perie, Grigg, & Dion, 2005). However, neither the mathematics nor reading reports made any attempt to check the interaction between ethnicity and poverty. The results reported in The Nation's Report Card are consistent with Lee's (2006) conclusion that NCLB has had little impact on the racial achievement gaps. Although the Hispanic-white achievement gap may have narrowed slightly between 1990 and 2005, it remains stubbornly persistent with the key question of the extent of the causal role played by socioeconomics, unanswered (Kao and Thompson, 2003; Lee, 2002; Lee 2006). 13

Development of the Achievement Gap Across Age Levels and Ability Levels The timing of the onset of the achievement gap and its subsequent development as students progress through the educational system constitutes an important part of the achievement gap literature. The questions of when the achievement gap first surfaces, independent of socioeconomic factors, is subject to some debate (Alwin & Thornton, 1984; Loeb & Bassok, 2008). Secondarily, once the achievement gap has appeared, the nature of its development is of interest to researchers (Alwin & Thornton, 1984; Reardon & Robinson, 2008). Finally, the behavior of the achievement gap for students of differing ability levels is also of interest to researchers (Lee, 2002; Reardon & Robinson, 2008). Each of these topics will be addressed in turn in this section of the review of achievement gap literature. Timing of the Onset of the Achievement Gap Studies have documented that the achievement gap is present as early as the second year of a child's life (Loeb & Bassok, 2008). The question of whether part of all of this early manifestation of the gap can be explained by socioeconomic factors is a key to determining when the achievement gap arises independent of poverty and family status. Studies typically focus on students as they enter preschool or kindergarten, between the ages of three and five (Berger, Paxson & Waldfogel, 2005; Brooks-Gunn, Klebanov, & Duncan, 1996; Christian, Morrison, & Bryant, 1998; Duncan, Brooks- Gunn, & Klebanov, 1994; Fryer & Levitt, 2004). Berger et al. (2005) reported a link between home environment and student outcomes for three year olds that was moderated 14

by family income. Significantly, the authors concluded that correlation between home environment and poverty explained all of the outcome differences for their diverse sample of three year olds. Duncan et al. (1994) studied the impact of poverty and other socioeconomic factors on the IQ scores of five year olds. They found that poverty had the strongest influence of all the variables studied, exceeding the effect of maternal education and ethnicity, which was limited to white and African American students. However, the racial gap in IQ scores could not be entirely explained by poverty, maternal education and family characteristics (Duncan et al., 1994). A second study by the same group of researchers contradicted this earlier finding (Brooks-Gunn et al., 1996). In this later study, poverty accounted for approximately half of the original one standard deviation gap in IQ scores between low birth weight white and African American children at the age of five. The rest of the difference was explained by maternal education, maternal verbal ability and home environmental variables (Brooks-Gunn et al., 1996). The results of this second study are consistent with work of Christian et al. (1998) which found that although low maternal education has a significant effect on kindergarteners' academic skills, this effect is moderated for those children whose parents provided a high family literacy environment. In contrast, Fryer and Levitt (2004) using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, reported that socioeconomic factors completely accounted for the African American-white achievement gap for entering kindergarteners. Guo (1998) found that poverty experienced at an early age had a lesser impact on student achievement than poverty experienced in early adolescence. However, a student's ability was more affected by poverty early in life (Guo, 1998). The end 15

Full document contains 219 pages
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact of the socioeconomic factors of parent education level and family income on the academic achievement of students of Hispanic and white ethnicities. Scaled scores from the 2009 administration of the California Standards Tests in English language arts and mathematics and matched demographic information for 18,000 second through fifth grade students from six school districts in the San Joaquin Valley constituted the data source for this study. Multiple regressions were the primary statistical test used to analyze the data. The results showed a statistically significant gap in achievement between Hispanic and white students. After correcting for socioeconomic status and students of limited English proficiency, a residual achievement gap of roughly 0.1 of a standard deviation remained between white and Hispanic students. Further analysis showed no gap at low socioeconomic levels and a widening discrepancy in scores with increasing family income and parental education levels. These results may be indicative of differential expectations for white and Hispanic students. Additional testing for the effects of school-wide variables found a small negative impact on student achievement for schools with high average parental education levels, possibly caused by stronger interventions at schools with low average parental education.