The Effectiveness of the Tinsley Program and its Effect on the Racial Achievement Gap Within PAUSD


by : 
Talia S.


The Voluntary Transfer Program (VTP) within the Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) is a program in which hundreds of students from low socioeconomic neighborhoods are enrolled in and bused to PAUSD schools. The racial achievement gap in schools is influenced by systematic bias, busing, and social identity threat. Busing is voluntary transportation from one school district to another. The racial achievement gap is the disparity in educational performance among students of different races. Social identity threat is when a school environment may negatively affect learning or performance of students from marginalized racial groups. The achievement gap within PAUSD persists despite programs designed to integrate VTP students. When students feel outcast, they can have lower expectations for themselves and perpetuate negative stereotypes. This study looks into what these programs are lacking by asking the VTP students themselves.