Date of Award

2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Education (Ph.D)

Department

Education Specialties

First Advisor

Erin M Fahle

Second Advisor

James R Campbell

Third Advisor

Ceceilia Parnther

Abstract

This quantitative study examines the impact that social contextual factors, such as racial composition, segregation, socioeconomic status, and school factors, such as per-pupil expenditure, student-to-teacher ratio, and school size have on the White-Black and White-Hispanic high school graduation rates within New York State school districts. Theoretically, I frame my study using Nasir and Hand’s (2006) Sociocultural Theory Framework, which addresses the intersectionality of race, culture, and inherent learning biases that impact minoritized students educated in incompatible historical school structures.

The dissertation addresses several research questions, such as (1) What determines the variation of cohort graduation rates in NYS school districts; (2) The characteristics of districts that explain the variability in graduation rates; (3) The variation of race-specific cohort graduation rates in NYS school districts; (4) The factors that explain the variability in NYS graduation rates. SPSS and HLM software are used to analyze EDFacts’ adjusted cohort graduation rates by subgroup for all public high schools in New York State from 2010-17. The significance of this dissertation is to identify key school and social contextual factors within NYS schools that enable Black and Hispanic students to thrive academically. The findings of this dissertation determine that social contextual factors, particularly SES, are highly predictive of student achievement.

Available for download on Thursday, September 18, 2025

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