Muller, Chandra, Riegle-Crumb, Catherine, Schiller, Kathryn S., Wilkinson, Lindsey, & Frank, Kenneth A.
Race and Academic Achievement in Racially Diverse High Schools: Opportunity and Stratification
University of Texas at Austin
Assess whether racially diverse high schools offer equal education and opportunities to students of different racial/ethnic groups
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Paper Presented at the ASA, San Francisco, CA, Aug
- This research examines the opportunity structures for African American and Latino students in racially diverse schools by measuring the under-representation of Blacks and Latinos in sophomore advanced math classes, and examining how this limits their level of achievement by the end of high school.
- Attending schools where course taking is racially stratified may have long-term consequences for Latinos' and AA's achievement.
- The study finds that in the average school, minority students are under-represented in sophomore advanced math classes, relative to White and Asian students.
- There is much variation across schools.
- The underrepresentation of Black and Latino students in sophomore advanced math classes is associated with their achievement---in some schools associated with lower GPA and lower four year college enrollment, compared to Whites and Asians.
- These effects were net of controls for background, preparation, early performance, and sophomore course placement.
- Schools vary in the extent to which African American and Latino students are under-represented in advanced sophomore math classes, and that this variance is only modestly correlated to issues of social class and academic performance. This pattern of racial inequality in schools is associated with lower minority senior year grades and enrollment in four-year postsecondary institutions, net of students' own background.
Asians, Hispanics, Latinos, Math, Racial Composition, Tracking
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
10th graders in 1994-1996 diverse schools
Unit of Analysis:
- The data are from the Add Health and the high school transcript study of Add Health respondents, the Adolescent Health and Academic Achievement (AHAA). Transcripts were collected and coded for 12,250 Wave III respondents in the survey.
- Analysis included only schools with diverse racial populations. Two separate samples of racially diverse schools were analyzed. White and Asian students were combined.
- The sample is comprised of students who were 10th graders in 1994-1996.
- The final sample is 22 schools for Latinos and White/Asian students, 26 for Blacks and Whites/Asians, and 10 common to both samples.
- The final samples are 3,149 students and 2,775 students for the Black/White and Latino/White analyses, respectively.
- DV: GPA (for all 12th grade classes) and attending a four year college.
- IV: School level (sophomore math course, school location, minority under-representation in advanced math, overall proportion of students in the school taking advanced math as sophomores, and region) and individual level (gender, parents' educational level, and AddHealth vocab test score, and freshman GPA).