Cultural Diversity In San Antonio Schools

Literature Review

Texas Success Initiative (TSI)

As stated previously, the state of Texas currently holds the largest Hispanic population in the United States. As a result, analysis of Texas with regard to academic performance among various racial/ethnic lines will provide a more thorough picture of how Latino student performance compares to that of students of differing ethnicity. The manner in which the Texas state government measures and monitors academic performance among Texas students is through the Texas Success Initiative (TSI). This test examines student performance in the critical academic areas, including mathematics, literacy, science, and social studies. The TSI is administered on an annual basis in order for the Texas State Department of Education to continually assess the effectiveness of the state’s academic framework and process so that issues can be addressed and improvements can be made relatively quickly. According to the TSI test results of 2012, Latino students were found to exhibit academic performance that was lower than that of their peers of other ethnicities. Importantly, the data reflected in the TSI is presented based on an average of student scores for those in regular and gifted programs. As a result, the level of performance that the TSI demonstrates for Latino students is low even when including the academic performance of gifted Latino students into the mean calculation. Importantly, Texas has been rather quick to notice and respond to the performance disparity currently prevailing with Latino students. As a result, the state has begun to develop and implement a number of programs designed specifically to enhance and improve the educational process of Latino students in order to promote higher levels of academic performance. Each program focuses on a different area of the academic process or serves as a bridge for students that must overcome some sort of social or economic obstacle to obtain a good education . In particular, research has found that the level of poverty among Latinos is quite high in comparison to other localities in the United States.

In addition, a host of research conducted in recent years has provided findings that indicate social and economic barriers hinder student performance over the short and long term. As an example, students from poor households with incomes under the poverty level are likely to achieve lower levels of academic performance than students from wealthier households. Ultimately, the focus of this study will be directed toward English skills and English language proficiency. In particular, experience as an international student who has had to learn English as a second language, this researcher has a first-hand understanding of the challenges and difficulties that English language learners must overcome in order to gain the critical English language skills needed to succeed in college-level coursework. This experience has helped to develop increasing interest in exploring the various factors that can affect English language learners achievement of English language proficiency prior to completion of high school and before moving on to post-secondary school.

By using quantitative data and statistical analysis, this study will be able to identify problems or contributing factors that can affect English language learners’ obtain English proficiency. In the end it is expected that identifying factors that can influence ELL obtain English proficiency will facilitate the development of potential solutions to enhance English language performance among high school students preparing to pursue a post-secondary education. In the end, the combination of data resulting from this review of literature and the data yielded through the independent study will provide this researcher with the necessay tools to effectively respond to the research question that has been established to guide this study.

Write Better Papers Using Thesaurus

Have you ever written an essay and found that you kept repeating the same word over and over again? If you have, you don’t have to settle for the boredom of repetitive writing. Instead, you can break out the thesaurus and find new words to add to your vocabulary!

The thesaurus is a reference tool that offers synonyms for words. It helps to eliminate repetition, which can detract from the quality and readability of your writing. Many word processing programs provide a limited version of the thesaurus as part of the software. If you hold the computer-mouse over a word you wish to substitute, then right-click, a drop-box appears that gives the option of “synonyms.” You can “hover” the mouse over this option and it provides a selection of words you can use instead of the repetitive word. If, for some reason, there are no options in your word processing program, or you prefer to use a book, the book-form of thesaurus is available for purchase from bookstores, and is also in the reference section of your local library.

You may be asking yourself, “How can a thesaurus improve my writing?” Consider these examples and you can see the potential benefits.

Example I

The crab population is lower than last year. It seems that the numbers of crabs that are breeding are less, so there are less offspring being born. This lessening of the population may be due to overfishing, climate changes, and contaminants in the water, or other, as of yet unknown causes.

Example II

The crab population has decreased from last year. It seems that fewer numbers of animals are reaching sexual maturity, which may be a result of overfishing, climate change, and/or contaminants in the water. It is also possible that an as of yet unknown cause may be affecting the crab population.

The above examples demonstrate the difference in quality of writing, when one eliminates repetition. The concepts are identical, but the second example seems to be written on a much higher level than the first.

You can achieve similar results if you expand your vocabulary through the use of a thesaurus! Your writing will suddenly seem to be much stronger; will read better; and will better reflect your true writing potential. So don’t fear the thesaurus; use it as the wonderful writing tool it is!