Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
© 2017 Gabriela R. Ornelas
My study explores the underlying factors that allow systemic structural issues to exist within continuation high schools which result in the low educational performance of low-income Latinx continuation students. My study focuses on educators’ experiences, as I conducted 20 in-depth, semi-structured interviews with Southern California continuation high school teachers. I focused on the following areas of study: the teacher’s career, the teacher’s interactions with students, and the teacher’s opinions regarding their accessibility to funding and resources. My findings indicate that teachers, the outer community, and school-board administrators utilize cultural deficit thinking and stigmatization as tools of total erasure to exchange low-income Latinx students’ social identities with racist and classist stereotypes; in consequence, these mechanisms allow the district to impose invisibility on students’ academic and emotional needs in order to justify the formation and maintenance of institutional challenges for administrators’ fiscal benefit. Overall, these results reaffirm that our educational system reproduces social inequality; the total erasure of low-income Latinx continuation students’ academic and emotional needs permits the persistence of systemic structural issues informed by racist and classist stereotypes. My research calls for avenues of communication between administrators, teachers, and the outer community to address institutional barriers and, subsequently, establish equitable funding distributions to promote continuation high school students’ educational success with an understanding of the increased academic, emotional, and social needs of low-income Latinx students.
Ornelas, Gabriela R., "The District's Stepchild: The Total Erasure of Low-Income Latinx Students' Needs at Continuation High Schools" (2017). Pitzer Senior Theses. 83.
Chicana/o Studies Commons, Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Commons, Educational Sociology Commons, Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration Commons, Ethnic Studies Commons, Latina/o Studies Commons, Other Education Commons, Race and Ethnicity Commons, Secondary Education Commons, Secondary Education and Teaching Commons, Urban Education Commons