Category Archives: Research Difficulties

What to do about the Filipinos!

So, I’ve got a Filipino problem! California breaks Filipinos out as a separate demographic from both Asians and from Pacific Islanders. Culturally, I can understand that. We owned the Phillippines for awhile (they might still be a protectorate for all I know) and they were colonized by Spain for a whole lotta years before that. They aren’t really cultural Asian or PI after all that Spanish/American influence. However, this is annoying me. I don’t have a Filipino spot in my spreadsheet! I’ve considered adding them together with the Asian or PI numbers, but I don’t know. I really had no clue I’d run into so many data issues for something as straightforward as “get test assessment data and plug into excel”.

Trials and Tribulations

I may have vastly underestimated the difficulty of my summer research. After all, making a list of public schools named for MLK and comparing them to other area schools doesn’t really sound that hard. However, I have decisions ahead of me!

Magnet schools? Should I include them? The national stats consider them public schools but they aren’t a traditional school. However, it appears some of the newer MLK schools are in this category. I’m leaning towards including them (and the charter schools) as long as the assessment data is there.

What about MLK schools that have closed in the recent past? For instance, there is data available for MLK Elementary in Toledo, OH up to 2006 when they closed the school, but obviously this is not a currently-operating school. Toledo is reopening the school in a new building this Fall, however. Toledo also re-drew its school boundaries this year so the new MLK school will not be the old MLK school. There is also the matter of the MLK Elementary in New Orleans, LA. This school is listed as “temporarily closed” since Hurricane Katrina. I haven’t determined its future status or current condition beyond being currently non-operational. Data for MLK New Orleans is available up to 2005. I’m strongly leaning towards removing these schools from the sample since they are currently closed.

And what about schools named after two people? Oh yes, this exists! We have a set of King-Chavez schools in San Diego, CA and King-Kennedy schools in NY and MO. There is also a King-Elcan in GA that I am still trying to determine if it is named for MLK. I’m inclined to include these schools, but I’m completely uncertain what to do with these schools.

Making that list of MLK schools is definitely turning out to be a bit messier than I had anticipated.

On the upside, it appears that JSTOR is not the final word in scholarly sources because I actually found (quite randomly too) an article in Urban Geography written on MLK schools. It appears Dr. Derek H. Alderman used the same sources I’m looking at (yay!) in the 1997-1998 publishing by CCD. The first thing I noticed is that it appears that MLK schools have both come and gone since then and it will be interesting to have his starting point for some of the data. His research is a different direction than mine but the demographic parts are certainly the same tack. He also referenced a study on MLK schools in 1988 but I haven’t pulled that yet. I’m kind of excited that there may be something to build on when I (and Dr. Niemonen) thought it had never been done. In any case, JSTOR certainly didn’t list these articles so thank goodness for Google!