Medgar Evers College, CUNY (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN10 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Page: 2871 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain
According to the Urban Institute Education Policy Center, in 2002, only 30% of New York City Puerto Ricans completed high school. Furthermore, Puerto Ricans are the only Latino group in which both females and males drop out in equal numbers. In contrast Dominican girls are far surpassing their male counterparts, completing high school and attending post-secondary institutions in rapidly increasing numbers, and Cuban girls have the highest graduation rate of all Latino groups in NYC. This research project explores the cultural and social factors that contribute to the educational disparities amongst these historically and geographically similar groups.

Recent evidence illuminates the differences in educational achievement amongst different Latino groups in the US and poses some interesting questions regarding the continued low educational achievement of Puerto Ricans in relation to other Latino groups (Mollenkopf &Waters 2006). The most glaring differences are between Puerto Ricans, Dominicans and Cubans, because of their common history/culture up until the Spanish American War in 1896,

This four year research study, completed in December 2009, included 15 primary respondents (five Puerto Rican, five Dominican and five Cuban) and their families. This study was unique in that it focused on intra-cultural diversity, and, not only produced new disaggregated comparative data on the educational achievement of distinct Latino groups in US schools, but explains these differences from a perspective of cultural strength rather than cultural deficit. Perhaps more importantly, this study challenges us to question long standing assumptions regarding the definition of success, academic and otherwise.