Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



This report was prompted by the pressing concerns over the high failure rates of Latino students on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) exam. While 27% of White students failed the English portion of the MCAS test and 38% failed the Mathematics portion in 2000, the corresponding rates for Latino students were 66% and 79% respectively (Massachusetts Department of Education, 2000a). There is a great urgency to understand why Latino students score substantially behind students from other racial/ethnic groups. This urgency stems from the reality that students currently enrolled in the 10th grade will be required to pass this exam in order to receive a high school diploma in 2003.


Prepared by the Public Policy Doctoral Program and the Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston.



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