Rebutting Romero’s MAS “cohort” study

TUSD’s statistician, David Scott, was asked to review the “cohort” study conducted by MAS (Mexican American Studies) Director Augie Romero.

—–Original Message—–
From: Scott, David
Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 10:17 AM

I have done some recent analysis of data related to the Mexican American studies claims. However, I have never seen the specific data used by the Mexican American Studies staff to make claims of superior graduation and higher education participation rates. You might want to check with them to see if they can provide the information themselves.

In the meantime, I’ve attached two spreadsheets that address different aspects of their claims. First, you will find an AIMS analysis that shows that students who take one or more Mexican American Studies classes are far less likely than other students to pass the AIMS the first time. However, after all five test opportunities, these students achieve roughly the same passing rate as their peers who did not take any Mexican American Studies (MAS) classes.

In the second spreadsheet you will find selected statistics for our 2010 graduating class. There are three tabs in the spreadsheet: Total District, Mexican-American Studies students, and Non Mexican-American Studies students. If you compare just the total graduation rate, you will see that 83% of the 2010 cohort graduated in four years. This is true for students who did and did not take MAS classes. However, the students who did take MAS classes were predominately lower income Hispanic students. If you compare graduation rates across groups by income level, you will see participation in MAS classes appears to substantially boost the graduation rates for lower income students. For the very low income group, MAS students had a 79% graduation rate versus a 67% graduation rate for non MAS students. And, for the low income group, MAS students had an 83% graduation rate versus a 76% graduation rate for non MAS students. I would consider these differences to be quite significant and consistent with the claims made by the MAS staff.

In regard to their claims of superior college participation rates, I currently only have results from our Senior (exit) Survey. We recently received data from the Nation College Clearing house that provides us with college enrollment and degree completion for our graduates. However I have not had time yet to use the data to evaluate the MAS claims.

But, based on our Senior Survey data, it looks like roughly the same proportion of MAS and non MAS students intend to enroll in college after high school graduation. The one big difference between the two groups of students is that a larger proportion of MAS students indicate that they intend to enroll in a two-year college versus a four-year college then the comparison group. However, this is understandable given the fact that a much higher proportion of these students are very-low to low income students.

This is all of the information that I can provide quickly in response to this RFI. Please let me know if I need to provide any additional information to satisfy Mr. Hick’s request.


To view the spreadsheets visit