Monday, May 21, 2007

Military Brat Dissertation

My name is Leslie Hinkson and I am a graduate student at Princeton University. I am currently finishing my dissertation which looks at students who attend DoD schools and asks the questions -
1) Why do they do so well on standardized tests compared to their public school counterparts in the States; and
2) Why are racial gaps in test score performance smaller (particularly in the schools overseas).

At the end of July I will be leaving Princeton for the U. of Michigan where I will be working to finish this project and hopefully turn it into a book. I have conducted interviews (but through a snowball sample that primarily includes my family, some of their friends, and students here at Princeton) and would like to conduct more interviews, this time with people who aren't so closely connected to me (which should increase the number of diverse experiences and voices). I am looking for individuals who have attended domestic and/or DoD schools, parents of these individuals, and teachers from the DoDEA system to develop a better understanding of how military culture and structure affects families and schools in ways that seem to produce extraordinary results in the students that go through the DoDEA system.

If you are interested in taking part in an interview, either over the telephone, via e-mail, or face-to-face, please contact me at lhinkson@princeton.edu. I believe this project has the potential to help inform educators on how to reduce racial gaps in academic performance and would help bring to light the extreme importance of maintaining and expanding access to base schools for the countless dependents Stateside who deserve this service.

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