No Child Left Behind In Florida Looking At The Socioeconomic Aspects Of The Act And How It Relates To Minorities Dropout Rate And Crime


Today too many of our lower income children are being left behind in spite of a law that that was crafted to help them succeed. The No Child Left behind Act was put in place to help prepare these children for an easy transition into college. Nevertheless, Elementary school age students are unable to read at the basic level evidenced by the standardized test administer in Florida called the Florida (FCAT). Further, high school seniors drop out of school because they are unable to pass the FCAT. Although, the government has spend millions of dollars on education but the system has still failed in meeting the goals of education excellence in Florida. The educational success disparity between the wealthy and the underprivileged, minority and Anglo is not only wide, but is alarming. Because of the unsatisfactory results of the No Child Left behind Act coupled with the standardized FCAT, educators have stated unequivocally that the federal government should have no further involvement in education. This study explored the education performance of Florida students from 2007 to 2012. The statistics showed that Whites and Asian are performing better with higher graduation rates and low dropout rates than African American and Hispanics. This is mainly because of differences in socioeconomic backgrounds.

Table of Contents

TOC o “1-3” h z u Chapter One PAGEREF _Toc372983856 h 61.1 Introduction PAGEREF _Toc372983857 h 61.2 Problem Statement PAGEREF _Toc372983858 h 81.3 Purpose of the Study PAGEREF _Toc372983859 h 91.4 Objectives of the Study PAGEREF _Toc372983860 h 91.5 Significance of the Study PAGEREF _Toc372983861 h 101.6 Limitations of the Study PAGEREF _Toc372983862 h 10Chapter Two: Literature Review PAGEREF _Toc372983863 h 112.1 Introduction PAGEREF _Toc372983864 h 112.2 No Child Left Behind Act PAGEREF _Toc372983865 h 112.2.1 Weaknesses of no child left behind act. PAGEREF _Toc372983866 h 132.3 School Dropout PAGEREF _Toc372983867 h 142.3.1. Categorization of school dropout factors PAGEREF _Toc372983868 h 142.3.2 Socioeconomic factors affecting dropout PAGEREF _Toc372983869 h 142.3.3 School related factors. PAGEREF _Toc372983870 h 172.3.4 Groups of school dropouts. PAGEREF _Toc372983871 h 182.3.5 Effects of dropping out. PAGEREF _Toc372983872 h 192.5 The No Child Left Behind Act Waiver Application PAGEREF _Toc372983873 h 213.1 Introduction PAGEREF _Toc372983874 h 233.2 Research Design PAGEREF _Toc372983875 h 233.3 Population PAGEREF _Toc372983876 h 243.4 Research Approach PAGEREF _Toc372983877 h 243.5 Research Ethics PAGEREF _Toc372983878 h 253.6 Assumptions PAGEREF _Toc372983879 h 253.7 Data Analysis PAGEREF _Toc372983880 h 25Chapter Four: Data Analysis PAGEREF _Toc372983881 h 274.1 Introduction PAGEREF _Toc372983882 h 274.2 Descriptive Statistics PAGEREF _Toc372983883 h 274.3 Testing Association PAGEREF _Toc372983884 h 34Chapter Five: Discussion, Conclusion and Recommendation PAGEREF _Toc372983885 h 355.1 Discussion PAGEREF _Toc372983886 h 355.2 Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc372983887 h 375.3 Recommendations PAGEREF _Toc372983888 h 39References PAGEREF _Toc372983889 h 40

List of Tables

Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 1: Federal Graduation Rates by Race/Ethnicity, 2007-08 through 2011-12 ………….27

Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 2: Federal Graduation Rates by Gender within Race/Ethnicity, 2007-08 through

2011-2012 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….29

Table SEQ Table * ARABIC 3: Federal Graduation Rates by Gender within Race/Ethnicity, 2007-08 through 2011-12, continued…………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 29

Table 4: 9th-12th Grade Single-Year Dropouts by Gender within Race/Ethnicity, 2007-08 through 2011-12 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….31

Table 5: 9th-12th Grade Single-Year Dropouts by Gender within Race/Ethnicity, 2007-08 through 2011-12, continued ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….32

Table 6: Percentage of Students Eligible for Free/Reduced-Price Lunch Race2007-08 through 2011-12, continued ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….33

Table 7 : Florida crime rates 2007-2012…………………………………………………………………………………….……………………………………………………………. 34

Chapter One

1.1 IntroductionThrough the Elementary and Secondary education Act (ESEA)of 1965, and the federal grants to districts and state schools the US government have supported the education system both financially and legislatively (U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2004). In 2001, the U.S. government enacted the No Child Left Behind Education Act NCLB) to reauthorize ESEA (U.S. Department of Education, 2001). The NCLB act was anchored on the principles of increased flexibility by district and state schools in use of federal funds, and to increase and strengthen accountability, and enhance the emphasize on teaching methods that have been successful (U.S Department of Education, 2001). In the spirit of expanding education and ensuring increased access, the Act was to expand the choices of disadvantaged children. The NCLB act aims to increase accountability and improve achievement of students in all public schools it emphasizes the accomplishment of student with disabilities, students from minor racial ethnicities, English language learners, and economically disadvantaged. The Act also established funds for improving reading instruction and acquisition of English language proficiency. Further, the Act required that all states make certain only highly qualified teachers handle students.

The NCLB Act required each state to frame its own education accountability systems. The systems were to include rewards such as recognition and bonuses, sanctions, evaluation, methods, and a framework to hold each school accountable of student achievement. Accordingly, the state of Florida developed a plan to enhance student accomplishments and implement higher standards within the education sector through the Florida Comprehensive assessment Test (FCAT). The FCAT to covers grades three to ten (Florida Department of Education, 2013). The FCAT focuses on criterion-referenced tests (CRT),which evaluate reading, mathematics, science, norm-referenced tests (NRT),writing from sunshine state standards and mathematics, which benchmark individual performance against national standards (Florida Department of Education, 2013).

The central government and states have enacted laws besides provide support to see the expansion and improvement in the education sector. The focus drawn to minority ethnicities, student who need special attention and those who lack English proficiency has seen development of improvement in accomplishment of such students. However, this has not been 100% successful as anticipated. School dropout is being registered even with NCLB in force. The tight tests that students are required to pass cause grade retention that has been linked to dropout. The requirement of highly qualified teachers has caused disparity between high and low income backgrounds.

Research has shown that school dropout is an outcome of various factors. Family type and income, parental involvement in education and level of education and occupation of parent affect arte of dropout (Sanchez, Reyes & Singh, 2006). Social economic factors influence student dropout in schools. South, Baumer and Lutz (2003) conducted a longitudinal study to establish the effects of social economic factors in student dropout. The study found that students from more well off localities have a lower dropout rate than those from low earning neighborhoods.

In 2006 Bridgeland, DiIulio and Morison conducted a study to establish factors causing dropout and the consequences of dropping out. In the study, a third of the students dropped out because they had to seek employment to support their low family income while a fifth became parents and similar percentage dropped out to look after a family member. An examination of these dropouts revealed they were doing well in school (Bridgeland, DiIulio Morison, 2006). In the study, there were students who dropped out of high school because of their poor preparation (Bridgeland, DiIulio Morison, 2006). As such, they had low achievement in high school, which led to the dropping out. However extra tutoring and after school aid could have helped them. The effect of repeating was reported to have dropout by a third of the students in the survey. These students said they could not have graduate even after putting necessary effort.

1.2 Problem StatementWhile the NCLB act and the FCAT aimed to expand, education access to all and improve student achievement; nevertheless, this was not always the case especially regarding performance and reduction of dropouts. There are stringent requirements in place by NCLB and by extension FCAT that students have been have to asp before progressing to nest garder. However, this is not always the case ahs students fail the tests and are retained in same grade. in same grade. By causing school disengagement, grade retention has been linked to school dropout. The failure to pass the FCAT test causes increases in dropouts and many scholars suggested this correlation has implication in the increased crime rate (Lochner, 1999).In Miami South Ridge Senior high school, where the population of students is 4141 has a dropout rate of 5.4%; this means that 220 students are dropping out of school.

Student dropout has been a concern among parents, employers, educators and for the government. Dropout rates are not uniform across ethnicities and economic background. Dillow (2003) notes that, it is challenging for male students from ethnic minorities and more specifically those from low-income families completing school for minorities. This is further underscored by (Balfanz & Legtres, 2004) who observe that Whites have a lower probability of dropping out than colored students do.

In Miami South Ridge senior high school, there have been 330 crime incidents. The crime incidents involve fighting and harassment weapon possession, alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, violent acts against persons, property, and other nonviolent incidents and disorderly conduct. Burrus and Roberts (2012) studies crime prevalence and rate of high school dropout and found that crime incidents increase as high school dropout increases. A report by Christeson, Lee, Schaefer, Kass and Messner-Zidell, (2008) note that public safety risk will increase risk as a result of increased dropout and the phenomenon affects cities with minority populations. The authors of the report further note that high school dropouts are three and half times more likely to be arrested. A 10% point increase in graduation rates reduces assault, murder by approximately 20% (Christeson et al., 2008). However, there is little research done on the relationship of dropout rates of minority groups and their respective causes in Florida. This paper will focus on socioeconomic aspects and how they relate to dropout of minorities and the contribution to crime.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to explore the no child left behind in Florida and examine the socioeconomic aspects of the act. Additionally the study explored how socioeconomic aspects of the act relate to minorities dropout rate and crime.

1.4 Objectives of the Study

The following objectives guided this study.

To explore the no child left behind in Florida

What socioeconomic factors of affect dropout

How do socioeconomic aspects of the act relate to minorities dropout rate and crime.

1.5 Significance of the Study

Student dropout has been a concern among parents, employers, educators and for the government. The central government has enacted laws besides providing support to see expansion of education. However, there are students dropping out of school despite their effort. As such, the finding of this study will be useful to parents, educators and the central government in understanding how socioeconomic aspects of NCLB affect minorities’ dropout rate. By focusing on the state of Florida, the state education agencies will find this study useful in understanding how FCAT affects minorities’ dropout rate and any association to crime.

1.6 Limitations of the Study

This study explores the no child left child left behind in state of Florida and performance statistics of Miami South Ridge high school. States have different education acts as required NCLB with different standards. Further sates differ in economic empowerment and population of ethnicity. Studies shows that set standards, economic empowerment and ethnicities affect education performance. As such, the findings of this study cannot be generalized to other states unless they bare resemblance to Florida. School organization and locations affect dropout rates. In this line, the findings of this study that utilize of Miami South Ridge high school performance can only be generalized to schools with similar statistics.

Chapter Two: Literature Review2.1 Introduction

This chapter presents relevant literature about the research variables. The chapter discusses in depth past studies in line the research objective. The literature is objectively outlined.

2.2 No Child Left Behind Act On January 8, 2002, President George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) (the ACT). The Act was meant to identify educational accomplishments and report accountability. The Act provided investment goals in the education system with an aim of expanding education to all. The Act emphasizes the importance of completing school and the roles of teachers, parents and government duties in the process. The main aim of the Act was to see that every American child despite its income or ethnicity successfully is educated. (U.S. Dept. of Ed., 2003).The act required all states to have accountability systems that keep track of education achievements and evaluation compared against national standards. Further, this requirement stated that all the states were to evaluate each and every student from the third to eighth grade in mathematics and reading on an annual basis. Additionally, states were to provide an adequate yearly progress report (AYP) that was required to measure improvement of disadvantaged children. In addition, states were required to ensure that by 2014, all students have a proficient score in the standardize tests. Schools that were not able to exhibit adequate yearly progress would be accorded assistance and they would be subjective to corrective measures. Such measures included complimentary and supplementary resources, student transfer and possibility of compulsory restructure.

In order to ensure continuous improvement in education standards, all states were obliged to provide a plan that outlined their accomplished standards, assessment procedures, reporting process and accountability measures. This requirement made sure that states vested with greater responsibility in shaping education standards, had more control and flexibility in using federal funds. In this mandate, schools were encouraged to use funds for professional development, teacher retention, and technology related training that fit their needs without having to seek federal approval. The Act gave parents an option to transfer their children for security reasons or if the children seemed to be under performing and a school transfer if that would help the child improve. In improving the quality of education, the act provided support for instruction programs by availing funds to train teachers on the same and equip them with necessary skills to deliver (U.S. Dept. of Ed., 2003b).

The Act accountability provisions entailed applying performance management in the education sector. The accountability provisions account for performance and the outcome of failure or success. Education accountability emphasizes holding education personnel such as administrators, teachers, and students responsible for educational achievements, albeit success or failure. School personnel are held accountable for student accomplishment by district or school accountability systems. Graduation rates or test scores defined this measurement (Kane & Staiger 2002; Hanushek and Raymond 2001). Some states set standards using outside factors such as proverty. (Meyer et al. 2002).

All states are required to ensure that all students l have a proficiency score by 2014. The Act gives states performance measurement so determine the proficiency score (Kim and Sunderman, 2004). As such, states have an opportunity to set low proficiency performance requirements then backload the requirement of proficiency in the following years (Ryan 2003). Greater emphasize is placed on minority students, such as those who come from low-income backgrounds, those with limited English proficiency and those who need special attention because of their learning disabilities. This has fostered methods and efforts to improve academic performances. This has been one of the achievements of the Act.

2.2.1 Weaknesses of no child left behind act.

Researchers argue that implementation of the act has affected the development of incentives for state schools (Irons & Harris, 2007). This is because the act requires schools to execute accountability systems that are anchored on student test scores. As such, it becomes intricate for states to employ value added accountability measures. In fact, the act stipulates that all teachers must be highly qualified in order to meet the high academic achievements that are required. Further, the act requires that in addition to demonstrating knowledge of the subject they teach, all teachers must have degrees in field (Irons& Harris, 2007).However, this requirement has its shortcomings. Given that one of the main provisions of the act is to expand education access to children from low-income backgrounds, many highly qualified teachers do not work and have degrees in the fields outlined by the act. A finding by the National Partnership for teaching shows that inexperienced teachers are more likely to teach in poverty areas (Irons & Harris, 2007).This finding is attributed to difference in pay, which attracts highly qualified teaches to economically endowed schools.

The act lays more emphasize on teacher training on core subjects but neglects teaching quality and the personal aspect of teaching (Amobi, 2006). In its bid to measures progress, the act subjects schools to adequate yearly progress. However, there are weaknesses in this measure as noted by the Federation of American Teachers. The Federation observed that adequate yearly progress measured different students. Accordingly, some students did adequately make progress. As such, AYP cannot be used as an indicator of progress and cannot distinguish if a school has the required proportion of students with proficient score (Fisanick, 2008).In this view, the system is unreliable and treats school unfairly where some will be structured they do not deserve.

2.3 School Dropout2.3.1. Categorization of school dropout factors

Failure to complete school is because of various factors that in combination increase the likelihood of a student dropping out. Factors include the individual, which may be caused by education and truancy, family factors, such as level of parental involvement and income (Gleason & Dynarski, 2002).There are also school related factors, which include the school organization and level of teacher involvement and expectations. Communities where students live and schools that are located in lower income areas play a large part by to contribute to the crime rate. Balfanz and Legtres (2004) group factors causing dropout into two parts: the first category is personal student demographics that consist of ethnicity, gender, and the social economic factors. The second category consists of institution-related factors such as school systems, qualified teachers, and learning conditions.

2.3.2 Socioeconomic factors affecting dropout

Academic performance and progression are developed from a number of factors, which among them are socioeconomic factors. Scholars agree that family play a role in education achievement (Sanchez, Reyes & Singh, 2006; Garg, Kauppi, Lewko, & Urjnik, 2002). Family size, parental involvement, socioeconomic status, occupation of parent, family type and education attainment of siblings and parent are among the family factors that affect education accomplishments. Parental principles and needs toward their children influence the moderation, consistency, and responsiveness of the children’s social development and achievements. This implies that a child’s cognitive growth is greatly shaped by the parents’ practices. Children from educated parents have a higher likelihood of getting enrolled in better schools and progressing further in their education path (Holmes, 2003). Holmes further notes that the effect of parent’s education level differs with gender. A father’s education level will affect boys while a mother’s education level will affect girls (Lokshin, 2001).

The probability of dropout differs across subgroups such as ethnicity and economic background. The national centre for education statistics 2011 report shows that students who enrolled in private or public high school in 2008, had a dropout rate of 3.4 percentage before 2009. The report further identified that there are no significance dropout rates within gender but there is a significant difference within ethnicities. Whites had the least dropout rate of 2.4% while Latinos had the highest rate at 5.8%. African Americans dropout rate was approximately 4.8%. The report established a strong link between dropping out and poverty especially, those children who come from low income backgrounds. In fact, the report showed that these children are five times more likely to drop out. Jordan and cooper (2003) examined the challenged and social conditions African American male student encountered in public schools. The researchers found that cultural significance and teacher student cultural harmonization played an important role in educating students and reducing the dropout rates. Thus, conviction about long and short-term effects are related to the perceived teacher, family and friend influences, which directly relates to the goal to finish school among African American students (Davis, Ajzen, Saunders, & Williams, 2002).

Similar characteristics exist in schools that record high number of dropouts. Balfanz and Legtres (2004) examine the distinctiveness of schools that registered high number of dropouts and found that the schools are located in low-income areas have high crime rate and unemployment levels. In addition, such schools have high number of colored students. This finding is similar to that of Alliance for Excellent Education (2011) report, which shows that 60% of colored students school in areas dropout, where more than half of the population lives in poverty. Accordingly, only 18% of white students in similar areas drop out. The report also found that grade retention is higher among colored students where 43% and 42% of Hispanic and African American student respectively have delayed graduations compared to 17% Asian and 22%- white.

Communities where the students and parents reside influence student retention by providing a positive or enabling environment for educational progress. Studies have shown that communities that provide little employment opportunities have high dropout rates (Russell, 2001). Study demonstrates that students from low-income neighborhoods feel that education will not improve their status much hence are more likely to dropout when they encounter obstacles.

In Florida dropout has not been eliminated despite the efforts by the state education agencies. The data by Florida shows that the dropout rates of minority groups (African American and Hispanics) is higher than that of Whites (Florida Department of Education, 2010). On the other hand, the graduation rates of Whites are higher than that of African American. This shows that ethnicity might be an influencing factor in probability of graduating and completing school. In a bid to support students from disadvantaged economic background, the government initiated a free or subsided lunch program. In Florida, most students on free lunch program are from minority groups (Florida Department of Education, 2010). This is an indication that more minority student are economically disadvantaged than majority groups. This can partly explain the difference in academic performance.

2.3.3 School related factors.Research has shown that progression from one grade to another affects the dropout rate. Jimmerson, Anderson and Whipple (2002) note that there has been increase of student repeating the same grade because of emphasize on standards and accountability. The researchers reviewed 17 schools where they found evidence that repeating a grade increases the chances of dropping out of school. The researches further noted that the effects of repeating a grade combined with socioeconomic factors, ethnicity and emotional disengagement, affects students’ self-esteem, peer relations, socio-emotional relations that increase the chances of dropping out. Grade retention fails to solve the problem but only makes students feel like failures, which deflates self-esteem causing disengagement from education, which ultimately increases the probability of school dropout.

The school organization in terms of facilities, standards and manners of handling students affect the dropout rates. In 2003, Lee and Burkam investigated the effect of school organization on the dropout rate. The researchers examined 3840 students from grades 10, 11 and 12 from suburban and urban areas in the U.S. The researchers found that school organization affects dropout. School organization includes such factors as instruction, mentoring, retention to alternatives. They recommend that having personalized instruction methods, having mentoring programs and developing retention alternatives will increase student engagement that in turn reduces the dropout rate. Lee and Burkam (2003) note that students are more likely to stay in school when have constructive relations with their teachers.

2.3.4 Groups of school dropouts.

There are different ways to describe dropouts as noted by Morrow in 1987. Morrow posited that there are “putouts” (pg.153)-dropouts who drop out of school because of their undesirable characteristics. These students never connect with neither the school nor its environment and do not want to be in school. Morrow classified them as disaffiliate as they dropout mainly because they are disengaged. Student ability to comprehend academic content affects completion process. As such there are “education mortalities” (pg 153), those students who dropout because as they are incapable. Kronick and Hargis (1998, pg. 256) expanded Morrow’s theory and proposed that high school dropouts are a process. The researcher noted that there are “quiet dropouts” (pg 257), who fail to finish school because of their low academic achievement and grade retention and this consists of the largest group of dropouts. Another group of dropouts related to the first category is “under achieving push out” (pg 257). This group of dropouts has low achievement and behavior troubles and a high-grade retention. They react to their low achievement and grade retention, which causes disengagement and eventually dropping out. Highly achieving “push outs” are students who fail to finish school mainly because of their behavioral problems that the school administration cannot tolerate despite having good achievements. Common characteristics among dropouts are low family income, parent participation process, grade retention, underachievement and employment while in school (Kronick & Hargis, 1998).

Research has shown that progression from one grade to another affects dropout. Jimmerson, Anderson and Whipple (2002) noted in their study that there have been increases in students repeating the same grade, which attributed to emphasize on standards and accountability. The researchers reviewed 17 schools where they found evidence that repeating a grade increases the chances of dropping out of school. The researches further noted that the effects of repeating a grade combine with socioeconomic factors, ethnicity and emotional disengagement. Retention affects students’ self-esteem, peer relations, socio-emotional relations that increase the chances of dropping out.

School organization in terms of facilities, standards and manner of handling students affect the dropout rates. In 2003, Lee and Burkam investigated the effect the effect of school organization on dropout. The researchers examined 3840 students of grade 10, 11 and 12 from suburban and urban areas in the U.S. The researchers found that school organization affects dropout. School organization factors such as instruction, mentoring, retention to alternatives affect student dropout. Lee and Burkam (2003) note that, students are more likely to stay in school when they have constructive relations with their teachers.

2.3.5 Effects of dropping out. Given the vital role education play in the quality of life one will lead, failure to complete school will only have negative consequences at both individual level and society. There is an increased chance of unemployment that in turn increases the probability of committing crimes. Dropouts experience increased mental health- related problems because of stress and lack of sufficient income and low self-esteem. School dropouts are more likely to indulge in drugs and alcohol (Bridgeland, DiIulio & Morison, 2006). They use of alcohol and drugs to “handle” feelings of underachievement that lead to depression, stress and low self-esteem. Given the increased rate of crime there is prison expenses increase, such expenses will reduce if number of dropouts is eliminated (Kaufman, et al., 2000). The government has created training programs to help dropouts ‘lead better lives. However, those funds will be used for other projects, if the dropout rate is reduced. Given the lack of employment among dropouts and low income adult dependence are high. This strains the scarce resources available for the adult and continues – the poverty cycle.

The Dropout experience economic problem has escalated, whereby, they have little chance of getting employed and when they do they earn less than high school graduates .On average, high school graduates earn $9200 more than dropouts annually and approximately more than $ 1million in their lifetime (Bridgeland, DiIulio & Morison, 2006). Dropouts are two times more likely to end up in poverty than high school graduates given the level unemployment probability is three times that of graduates. The negative effects of dropouts are felt in society because of the lost revenue and higher health costs. Bridgeland, DiIulio and Morison (2006) note that the overhead costs incurred on a dropout