Muller, Chandra, Riegle-Crumb, Catherine, Gonzalez, Lorerna Lopez, & Schiller, Kathryn S.
Race, Social Class, and Academic Achievement in US High Schools
University of Texas at Austin; SUNY Albany
Looks at segregation within school,according to race,in core academic courses on student's academic achievement & the race gap in each at the end of HS
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Paper Presented at the ASA, San Francisco, CA, Aug
- On average, the race and social class gaps in course taking increase between grade 9 and the end of high school.
- African American and Latino students whose parents do not have a college degree complete the lowest levels of mathematics courses, followed by their white counterparts.
- The percentage of minority students in the school and the under representation of minority students in advanced mathematics classes are not significantly associated with how far students progress in math. However, it does predict the how far minority students of in mathematics relative to whites and Asians.
- In schools with greater under representation, minority students complete less mathematics than Whites, suggesting that the race gap is exacerbated in these schools.
- Students go farther in mathematics when they are in schools with higher percentages of students in advanced mathematics and when there are more children of college-educated parents in the schools
- Overall, students are more likely to graduate in schools with fewer minority students, more college-educated parents and when mathematics classes are more stratified according to race.
- Students whose parents do not have a college degree -Whites and non-Whites alike are less likely to graduate, and nonwhite students whose parents have graduated from college or more are more likely to graduate from high school than Whites of highly educated parents.
- School composition and stratification are associated with high school differently depending upon the individual attributes of the student.
- Race and parents' education (SES measure) are related to achievement.
- Race and class gaps in course-taking increase during high school.
- The under-representation of minority students in higher level math classes is associated with the lower academic achievement of minority students within the school. This gap exists independent of social class (parental education).
Academic Achievement, Achievement Gap, Math, SES, Science, Segregation, Tracking
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- Data are from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) a nationally representative sample of 7th-12th graders first collected in 1994-1995. Wave II and Wave III are from 1996 and 2000-2001, respectively. Adolescent Health and Adolescent Achievement data includes high school transcripts of Wave III students collected in 2002. This data set is also used in the study.
- DV: Three measures of academic achievement are used (highest math class, highest science class, and diploma attainment).
- IV: School level variables include % minority in school, SES measures (% college educated parents, % free lunch) and % minority in advanced classes. Student level variables are race, gender, and parental education. Students' 9th grade academic performance is controlled.