Year of Publication



Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration

Executive Summary

Throughout the world, policy makers, analysts, and non-profit organizations look at the educational achievement gap among students. This is not a topic specific to any developing or developed country in particular, yet the methods of measuring achievement gaps and alleviating the differences vary widely. T his paper will focus on the achievement gap of students in Guatemala, with a particular interest in rural education and education of the indigenous population. The purpose of this study is to look for relationships between educational achievement of youth in Guatemala and youth perspectives on a variety of issues including education, financial well-being, and families among others.

This paper provides a background of the issues contributing to the education gap between indigenous and non-indigenous students. Prior literature discusses many of the potential factors, and possible solutions for reducing the education gap and parallels between Guatemala and the United States are discussed.

A linear regression is performed using youth survey data from Guatemala’s National Institute of Statistics. The purpose of the regression is to help answer the question: How do youths’ perspectives and characteristics of their households relate to the educational attainment of students in rural Guatemala?

The results of this study indicate that there may be positive relationships between the level of education that a youth has, and a positive perspective on gains from education, for example. Despite such relationships, there are limitations to the stud y including the application of research for an organization working to alleviate the education gap in rural communities.