Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Ryan E. Gildersleeve

Second Advisor

Tyson E. Marsh


This study interrogates how federal policy discursively shapes Latino educational opportunity and equity. The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (WHIEEH) represents the pre-eminent federal discourse on Latino educational opportunity, and sets the parameters by which institutions are able to be informed and respond to its espoused objectives. Despite the recommendations and strategies previously conveyed by WHIEEH reports, Latino educational equity remains to be achieved. This study adopts critical and policy discourse analyses as methodological tools to identify the discourses that are informing how the policy subjects, problems, and solutions are being constructed and produced through the WHIEEH. The findings suggest that policy subjects are constructed and informed by a discourse of homogeneity, American discourse that supposes citizenship, a discourse of disadvantage, and a marketplace discourse. Problems constructed in the WHIEEH, are informed by a crisis discourse that helps to produce framing the lack of contributions of Latinos to the country as an unintended problem. This is made possible, by discursively framing Latino educational opportunity in relationship to the economic well-being of the country. Solution constructions are informed by an accountability discourse that leaves further questions about who is ultimately accountable for ensuring Latino educational opportunity. The study disrupts traditional and conventional policy analyses and raises imperative understandings of how Latino educational opportunity is discursively constructed in federal policy.


Copyright Owner

Susana Hernandez



File Format


File Size

191 pages