Abstract: K-12 Education

AAPI Nexus Journal: K-12 Education Volume 7, Number 1 2010 Abstracts

Critical Review of K–12 Filipina/o American Curriculum
By: Patricia Espiritu Halagao, Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, and Joan May T. Cordova

ABSTRACT: This research study provides the first comprehensive and critical literature review of K–12 Filipina/o American curricula found in formal and informal educational settings. Thirty-three Filipina/o American curricula representing a diverse array of authors, audiences, content, and pedagogical approaches were reviewed. The authors of this study developed a “Critical Framework of Review” rooted in critical pedagogy in order to analyze the historical development of Filipina/o American curricula along with an analysis of major topics, concepts, guiding theoretical frameworks, pedagogical approaches, and outcomes. The review concludes with a discussion and summary of the overarching themes of Filipina/o curricular content, instruction, and impact gained from this study and recommendations for the application, development, distribution, and research of more Filipina/o American K–12 curriculum resources.

When Is a Student an English Learner? An Ethnographic Account of When Students and Educators Invoke the Institutional Identity “English Language Learner”  
By: Leena Neng Her

ABSTRACT: This article complicates the articulation of the achievement gap between native English speakers and English learners (ELs) as a problem rooted in English language proficiency. I challenge the institutional and popular imagination that 5.1 million ELs in the United States are “limited in English proficiency” and whose performance in school can be attributed to limited English proficiency. This argument is drawn from eighteen months of ethnographic fieldwork in a northern California High School where students identified as ELs were not a homogeneous-ability group with similar language needs. Yet there were occasions when educators echoed the concerns of education reformers and policy analysts by glossing the diversity of their EL population. In “explain failure events” the limited English proficiency of ELs was invoked to explain the academic failure of students and the school’s status as an underperforming school. I argue that the continued invocation and gloss of the diversity of ELs participates in the perpetuation of an ideology that ELs are a homogenous student population with similar educational needs. At best, the explanations offered by educators are partial descriptions of the situation of academic failure. I offer alternative explanations of academic failure by exploring the policy and cultural-ideological context of schooling.

The Beliefs of Successful Asian American Pacific Islander Teachers: How Culture Is Embedded In Their Teaching
By: Valerie Ooka Pang

ABSTRACT: Equal educational opportunity is highly dependent on the beliefs and abilities of teachers. However, there is a dearth of research on Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) education and the beliefs of successful AAPI educators. Their contributions have been marginalized in the field of education. This research studied the beliefs of nineteen AAPI educators of a successful low-income (82%), 98 percent minority (75% AAPI and 23% Latino) K–8 school. Student achievement levels are beyond what would be expected with an Academic Performance Index (API) of 860. Any score above 800 is considered exceptional in California. Cultural values are embedded in the belief system of the teachers, and these beliefs result in high teacher personal efficacy and collective efficacy. These then influence teacher behaviors as evidenced by utilized instructional strategies, contributed informal leadership roles, and the long-term stability of the school.

Asian American Dropouts: A Case Study of Vietnamese and Chinese High School Students in a New England Urban School District
By: Phitsamay Sychitkokhong Uy

ABSTRACT: In the world of K–12 education, the growing numbers of dropouts are a major concern. This article examines the dropout rates of Chinese and Vietnamese high school students. Using logistic regression analysis, this article examines the influence of ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status (SES) on dropout rates. The distinct contribution of this analysis lies within the intraethnic comparisons within the Asian American student population and its use of longitudinal data. The results of the study support existing research that gender and SES are related to dropout rates. Moreover, an interesting interaction between ethnicity and SES exists.

Learning from the Alternative Asian American Press: A Close Look at Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders in Education through Gidra
By: Jean J. Ryoo

ABSTRACT: Through a careful analysis of the educational concerns and efforts described by Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) activists in Gidra—the first radical Asian American newspaper described as “the journalistic arm of the [Asian American] Movement” (Wei, 1993, 103)—this article explores ways that current educators, public policy writers, and researchers can learn from the stories of the past to improve the state of K–12 education today. Drawing from five years of monthly Gidra publications, this article illustrates parallels between past and current issues in AAPI K–12 education while offering suggestions for action and change.

Chinese Translated IEPs: Do They Do More Harm than Good?
By: Lusa Lo and Joseph Wu

ABSTRACT: Among culturally and linguistically diverse students with disabilities, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students comprise the third-largest group. In order to address the diversity of the special education student population and ensure that parents are involved in the decision-making process, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 requires schools to translate students’ Individualized Education Program (IEP) into their parents’ native language. The quality and accuracy of translated IEPs is a critical concern for limited-English-speaking parents who rely on such document for information that they miss in meetings. Discrepancies in the poorly translated documents prevent families from accurately understanding their child’s IEPs and knowing when they should advocate for their children for appropriate services and placement. This article exposes existing problems of translated IEPs and highlights the importance of hiring high-quality translators to help bridge the communication gap between schools and linguistically diverse parents of children with disabilities.