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Document Type

Feature Article

Publication Date

Fall 9-1-2007

Publication Title

Washington University Undergraduate Research Digest: WUURD 3(1)


Peer Editor: Shweta Murthi; Faculty Mentor Margaret L. Brown:

This study examines whether charter schools are effective education- al institutions for Hmong students, specifically English-language learners. While many studies on the efficacy of Charter Schools exist, few, if any, focus specifically on Hmong students. This study examines the relationship between school climate and academic achievement (various standardized test scores and cumulative GPA) by assessing the data from one charter school and from one non-charter public high school in Minnesota, each of which serve students with similar demographics. The achievement data indicate that ELL Hmong stu- dents attending a charter school perform better than their counter- parts at the non-charter public school. This result was not observed for non-ELL students. The data also reveal smaller achievement gaps between the ELL and non-ELL Hmong students at the charter school than at the non-charter public school. Thus, for students from tradi- tional homes and limited English proficiency, attending smaller schools with programming devoted to the needs of the Hmong may be beneficial to their academic success. This research can be used to inform how public schools address the needs of their student popula- tions. As schools continue to diversify, it will be increasingly crucial for schools to address the unique learning characteristics of all students.

From the Washington University Undergraduate Research Digest: WUURD, Volume 3, Issue 1, Fall 2007. Published by the Office of Undergraduate Research.

Henry Biggs, Director of Undergraduate Research and Associate Dean in the College of Arts & Sciences; Joy Zalis Kiefer, Undergraduate Research Coordinator, Co-editor, and Assistant Dean in the College of Arts & Sciences; Kristin Sobotka, Editor.


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