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Summary of #1 and 2

1. In a 1-page paper, discuss a few of the possible reasons why students from ethnically diverse backgrounds tend to perform poorly in school.

2. The teacher has a powerful influence over student achievement, whether s/he knows it or not. Read over the section on "Teacher Expectations," beginning on
p. 255 and particularly the EXAMPLE on p. 256. In a 1-page paper, discuss how teachers' expectations affect the behavior and achievement of their students and also how students tend to "live up to expectations."

Solution Preview

Hi there -
These are great questions! I hope my responses are helpful to you. Below, I have given you many ideas and suggestions as to where to start and where you might take your focus.
Question 1: Many studies have shown that black and Hispanic students have traditionally performed at lower levels of proficiency on standardized exams than have white and Asian students. This could be due to the fact that some Hispanic students haven't even lived in the U.S. very long, in which case they probably wouldn't necessarily be able to speak English as well as a child who has grown up here her whole life (especially considering the limited or non-existent ESL programs schools often implement for these students).
Besides language barrier issues, there is also the problem of cultural illiteracy. Many students from other cultures or ethnic backgrounds are accustomed to different social practices than those of the school or the teacher. Some students grow up in families where talking out is encouraged, eye contact is not permitted because it is considered rude, or asking questions of an authority figure is prohibited. So, when it comes to interacting with teachers, these students frequently have difficulty communicating effectively and experience problems establishing a rapport.
Others believe that America's tests are "biased" ...

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