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Title: Racial Inequality in Education: An Examination of the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity, an Academic Racial Integration Initiative
Authors: Quirk, Lexi
Advisors: Shelton, Nicole
Department: Psychology
Class Year: 2018
Abstract: Background: The Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO) is a federally sponsored racial integration initiative in Massachusetts that began in 1966 in response to the Civil Rights Movement. The program seeks to provide school-choice, enhance multicultural interaction and improve professional development by increasing access to conferences and emphasis on instructional pedagogy tailored to a diverse student body. My senior thesis research provides an analysis of the METCO program on student academic performance and teacher cultural proficiency training. Past research has focused on the graduation rate and academic performance of students who participate in the METCO program compared to the state average. My research, however, focuses on the academic performance of METCO students as compared to their fellow classmates and to students at non-METCO control schools. Additionally, my research focuses on the effect of METCO on teacher attitudes and cultural proficiency training, which, to my knowledge, has not been examined before. Methods: Using data from the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS), in the first part of this study, I examined the test scores of minorities and white students at METCO versus non-METCO schools. Using data from the TELL Mass Survey, in the second part of the study, I examined the attitudes of teachers towards cultural proficiency training programs at METCO versus non-METCO schools. In addition, I examined the number of hours teachers receive in three areas related to cultural proficiency training. These include: 1) closing the achievement gap, 2) promoting cultural proficiency, and 3) separating learning needs from a disability in culturally and linguistically different students. Results: First, the quantitative findings show that at both METCO and non-METCO schools, white students performed better than minority students in both Math and English in grades 3-8 and grade 10. Second, teachers at METCO and non-METCO schools hold similar attitudes towards cultural proficiency training but teachers at METCO schools report receiving more cultural proficiency training then teachers at non-METCO schools.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Psychology, 1930-2020

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