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Jabari Mahiri and Jeannie Oakes
UC Berkeley/education and UCLA/education

Fellows, 2001

Title: Increasing College Access for Students Attending "Bi-modal" High Schools

Researchers from UCB and UCLA will study pathways of college access for low-income, underrepresented students at two culturally diverse high schools. This research will describe and measure students’ different trajectories through high school and assess why and how these trajectories limit or enhance students’ access to college. The project will guide the research and professional development of UCB and UCLA graduate students as well as stimulate and train teachers and administrators at the school sites to use research to identify and transform practices that result in inequitable outcomes for underrepresented students. And the collaboration will also investigate the creation of school cultures that engage in reciprocal study and critique among university faculty, graduate students, and teacher researchers.

Maria Malagon

Dissertation Fellow, 2009

Dissertation: Trenches Under The Pipeline: The Educational Trajectories of Chicano Male Continuation High School Students

Abstract: This study examines the educational trajectories of 11 Chicano male high school students in a California continuation school. Chicana Feminist Epistemological and Latina/o Critical Race
frameworks are utilized to reveal how Chicano male continuation students come to understand their experiences as they access, persist, and resist schooling institutions. Theories of reproduction and resistance additionally provide for a theoretical exploration of Chicano racialized masculinities in educational discourse and practice. Data is collected from participant observation at a continuation school site, along with 22 oral history interviews and one focus group interview. The research and policy goals of this dissertation seeks to 1) subvert dominant paradigms in education discourse that reproduces deficit knowledge about non-dominant communities, 2) move towards epistemological approaches that can examine the multiple and intersecting constructions of race, class, gender, sexuality and other forms of domination, and 3) offer policy recommendations that can help researchers and practioners improve the quality of instructional practices within remedial educationalspaces.

Lindsey Malcom, Ph.D.
UC Riverside/education

Faculty Seed Grantee, 2009

Title: Moving Beyond Cultural Deficit Models to Understand the Formulation of College Financing Strategies among Latina/o Students: A Resource Mapping Approach

Mei-Ling Malone

Dissertation Fellow, 2010

Dissertation: Over-Incarcerated and Undereducated: Examining the Rise of the School-to-Prison Pipeline for Blacks and Latinos in California

Abstract: The prison system and the education system are separate institutions with distinct purposes.  Despite the stark differences, research, reports and the emerging “school-to-prison pipeline” field demonstrate that these two institutions co-construct each other and have formed a problematic relationship that disproportionately impacts African Americans and Latinos nationwide and in California especially. In efforts to investigate this problem, a deeper understanding of how a school-to-prison pipeline develops is urgently needed.   Thus, this study conducts a comparative analysis, examining the history and relationships of California prisons, incarceration rates, criminal legislation and school discipline policies and practices.  Finally, interviews on student experiences around discipline and school climate will be drawn from individuals who attended one urban high school in Los Angeles from the 1960s to the 2000s.

Danny C. Martínez

Dissertation Fellow, 2011

Dissertation: Expanding Linguistic Repertoires: An Ethnography of Black and Latino Intercultural Communication at Willow High School

Abstract: Using theoretical and methodological tools from Sociocultural language and literacy research, and the Ethnography of Communication tradition, my dissertation documents the linguistic repertoires of Black and Latina/o youth at Willow High School. Situated in four English Language Arts classrooms, this study explores the regularities and variances of Black and Latina/o youths’ language practices. This study seeks to encourage a nuanced understanding of the intercultural peer language socialization processes of Black and Latina/o youth, and to highlight linguistic dexterity of these youth. This study details the ways in which Black and Latina/o youth participate in everyday intercultural language activities that expand their linguistic repertoires in ways not valued by current educational discourse that support the hegemony of English. This study will inform a curricular framework that honors the shared practices of Black and Latina/o youth in ways that will treat their languages as a resource for learning and development.

Maria Martinez-Cosio, Ph.D.
UC San Diego/sociology

Postdoctoral Fellow, 2003

Title: Parent Volunteers Becoming Parent Advocates in Urban School Reform

Reforms across the country have struggled to involve  parents from communities that are not well represented in post secondary education. This study investigates the impact of parent involvement in a contentious school reform effort heralded as one of the most comprehensive in the nation.  This study investigates how parents from different groups impact their children’s schools and schooling. It examines the varying impact of strategies used by African American, Latino and affluent Anglo groups to increase college going opportunities for their children. With a particular focus on a school reform parent advocacy program for parents who are English language learners, this research analyzes the political successes and failures of the parent groups as they sought to redistribute scarce resources and improve their urban schools.

Tina Matuchniak
UC Irvine/education

Dissertation Fellow, 2011

Dissertation: Mind the Gap: A Cognitive Strategies Approach to College Writing Readiness

Abstract: English language learners (ELLs) are one of the fastest growing groups among school-age children in the country, yet, according to national NAEP (2005) data, only 4% of them scored at the proficient level in reading in grade 8. ELLs continue to lag behind every other group when it comes to reading and writing, which raises the question of how to effectively and equitably educate a growing population of traditionally underserved students in order to prepare them to gain access to and flourish in postsecondary institutions. Much of the current literature points to academic preparation as being a key factor in college access and persistence. This study is a quasi-experimental, longitudinal, mixed methods study, which follows a cohort of 136 12th grade ELLs as they transition from high school to college, looking to see how their academic preparation, specifically their writing experiences and performances, enables them to gain access to and persist in college.

Anysia Mayer
UC Davis/education

Dissertation Fellow, 2005

Dissertation: Interrupting social reproduction: An International Baccalaureate program in a diverse urban high school

About: My dissertation research will examine the development and outcomes of a high quality academic program, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IB), in two contrasting schools.  One school serves a community that is relatively disadvantaged according to a wide range of social and economic indicators. The other school serves a community at the other end of the socioeconomic spectrum. This study seeks to determine if an IB program established in a low performing school provide the same kinds of educational opportunities to students as an IB program in a high performing school. And to identify the relative importance of both SES and program design in shaping the educational futures of diverse students. Our understanding of these issues bear directly on one of the most critical social and educational dilemmas of our times: educational inequality, manifested in this case in college-going rates.

Patricia M. McDonough and Karen McClafferty

Fellows, 2001

Title: Increasing Faculty Involvement in Outreach and Practice-Based Research

This project will create greater understanding of how faculty members can become involved in outreach and practice-based research projects and how this work can enhance, rather than detract from, faculty dossiers during the review process. The work includes in-depth case studies of educational researchers who have earned major promotions at the University of California through and/or in spite of meaningful engagement with the communities and schools that their research impacts. The project will address research issues from the perspectives of university administrators, faculty, and outreach practitioners and will yield a model that can be used by scholars interested in undertaking practice-based research. The investigation will also yield short, practical guides intended for each of these three groups.

Maxine McKinney De Royston
UC Berkeley/education

Dissertation Fellow, 2009

Dissertation: Teaching to the Spirit: Unpacking the “Hidden” Curriculum of African Centered Education

Abstract: African American students' place at the center of discussions about the "achievement gap" and "equity" highlights the lingering salience and pernicious role of race in schools (Hilliard, 2003; Noguera, 2003). Independent Black Institutions (IBIs) have historically utilized comprehensive approaches to combat issues of access and racism in schools by validating students' racial identity and cultural knowledge (Asante, 1991; Mudhabuti & Mudhabuti, 1991), and equipping them with protective factors to cope and combat racism (Boykin & Toms, 1985). To illustrate and analyze this process, this study is situated within a 31 year-old African-centered elementary school with a long history of teaching to the "whole child." Distinct from other IBIs, this school also employs a racially diverse teaching faculty. Using a mixed methods approach, this study examines: 1) what are the pedagogical philosophies and practices within this school that are intended to disrupt racism? That is, what are the critical elements of this schooling environment geared towards disruption; and 2) how does racial socialization occur at this school? Using the principles of African-centered pedagogy (Lee, 2008) and the lens of racial socialization (Boykin & Toms, 1985) as analytical frameworks, this study contributes both to our understanding schooling practices that seek to disrupt racism and of schooling conditions that are designed to empower and foster African American students' success.

Heinrich Mintrop, Ph.D., and Gary Blasi
UC Berkeley/education and UCLA/law

Faculty Augmentation Grantees, 2002

Title: Improving Learning Conditions for Underrepresented Students Through A More Effective Accountability System for Low-performing Schools

A schooling policy trend, both nationally and in California, is to pursue high-stakes accountability through testing that identifies low-performing students and schools to receive special interventions and sanctions. One representative mechanism for addressing low performance is California’s Immediate Intervention/Underperforming Schools Program (II/USP). The few research investigations into the nexus of accountability and programs to address deficiencies do not reveal salutary effects of current approaches. This study will look closely into the effects of accountability testing and its policy consequences in three California high schools serving low-income students of color; it will explore additional and alternate responses to addressing under-performance; and it will design and pilot accountability instruments and protocols that could do a better job of leveraging school and student performance.

Derek Spencer Mitchell

Fellow, 2001

Title: Teacher Beliefs and Placement Practices

This study investigates how teacher beliefs and biases impact academic placement decisions for students of differing ethnic, gender and racial characteristics. The research examines the effects of educator background on placement decisions by providing teachers with an on–line opportunity to examine student photographs and data pairs and choose some students to enroll in rigorous instruction. The simulation of actual decision making explores whether or not (and under what circumstances) participants base their decisions on data about the students or if, instead, their selections appear more subject to personal biases.

Erica Morales

Dissertation Fellow, 2010

Dissertation: Class and Black Student Experiences within Higher Education

Abstract: The study of intra-group differences among Black students has been an overlooked topic within higher education research. Yet these important within-group differences can work to create different experiences at the university for Black students. Utilizing critical social theory and intersectionality frameworks, I examine how class shapes the lives of Black undergraduate students at UCLA. Drawing upon sixty-two, semi-structured, in-depth interviews with Black students, I focus on the experiences of students in three groups: solidly middle-class, lower middle-class and low-income. I analyze how class influences the ways students experience: financial challenges at the university, relationships with their Black peers and access to Black student organizations. This research can inform university policy and programs that can be designed to better support Black students from different class backgrounds as they navigate higher education.

Eduardo Mosqueda, Ph.D., and Leticia Oseguera, Ph.D.
UC Santa Cruz and UC Irvine/education

Junior Faculty Fellow, 2007

Title: Why Do Asian American Students Do Better in School?: Understanding the Roots of Social Capital Among Black, Mexican American, Vietnamese American, and White High School Youth

This study develops a more comprehensive understanding of Asian American success by exploring the roots of social capital to help explain differences in academic school performance among Vietnamese, Black, Mexican, and White high school youth. We quantitatively investigate the study habits of students in the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS):88 database. Using the quantitative findings as a guide, we will then generate an interview protocol to undertake a pilot qualitative study of high school students to delineate relationships between access to social capital networks and school achievement. This work suggests a closer examination of the association between parental socioeconomic status, gender, familial social capital (e.g., parental expectations), and within- and between- school social capital (e.g., positive relationships in schools) as possible explanations for the relative success of Vietnamese high school students. This research will inform policy and practice in identifying educational reform efforts to promote academic success among all students.

Season Mussey
UC San Diego/education

Dissertation Fellow, 2008

Dissertation: Negotiating Identities: Student Perspectives and Strategies for Striving in and Surviving the Undergraduate STEM Experience

Abstract: Females and minority students are underrepresented in STEM careers and majors. Using a mixed methods design, this study aims to investigate and understand what strategies and behaviors first generation, low income, underrepresented minority (URM) females who graduated from an innovative college preparatory high school use to achieve success within the context of the university science culture and to understand how they perceive their academic and science identity formation within the context of a large public university. The main research questions are: In what ways does completion of a rigorous, personalized high school program with the critical conditions for enhancing college opportunities for minorities influence both the academic and social-cultural college science experiences for first generation, low income, minority students at large public universities? How are students developing their multi-cultural college-going academic identities in the context of university science classes and cultures?

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