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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Trenches Under The Pipeline: The Educational Trajectories of Chicano Male Continuation High School Students


Demographic projections indicate steady increases in the percentage of Latina/o school-aged children in California (Alfonso-Zaldivar, 2004; Chapa & Valencia, 1993). These projections point toward the need to examine how schooling institutions are serving this growing population of students. While there is an increasing body of literature that examines the critical transitions of this population as they navigate the educational pipeline, continuation high school students who “dropout” and/or matriculate from continuation high schools, specifically, remain overlooked within education research. Chicano students make up a significant proportion of continuation school enrollment. Most of the research on continuation high school students continues to posit educational “failure” on these students without recognizing the institutional conditions and barriers that may limit educational opportunities for this population of students. Research on Chicanos in schools furthermore has inadequately explored specific race-gender educational experiences. Applying a Chicana feminist-race lens to examine racialized masculinities in education discourse and practice provides a more comprehensive account of how this population of students transition into and out of continuation high school. Through the use of participatory observation, oral history interviews and one focus group, this case study explores the educational life experiences of 11 Chicano male continuation high school students as they access, persist and resist schooling institutions.

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