If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Racial and Ethnic Stratification in Educational Achievement and Attainment

Grace Kao and Jennifer S. Thompson
Annual Review of Sociology
Vol. 29 (2003), pp. 417-442
Published by: Annual Reviews
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30036974
Page Count: 26
  • Download PDF
  • Cite this Item

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Racial and Ethnic Stratification in Educational Achievement and Attainment
Preview not available

Abstract

Understanding racial, ethnic, and immigrant variation in educational achievement and attainment is more important than ever as the U.S. population becomes increasingly diverse. The Census Bureau estimates that in 2000, 34% of all youth aged 15-19 were from minority groups; it estimates that by 2025, this will increase to 46% (U.S. Census Bureau 2000). In addition, approximately one in five school-age children reside in an immigrant family (Zhou 1997, Suarez-Orozco & Suarez-Orozco 2001). We provide an overview of recent empirical research on racial, ethnic, and immigrant differences in educational achievement and attainment, and we examine some current theories that attempt to explain these differences. We explore group differences in grades, test scores, course taking, and tracking, especially throughout secondary schooling, and then discuss variation in high school completion, transitions to college, and college completion. We also summarize key theoretical explanations used to explain persistent differences net of variation in socioeconomic status, which focus on family and cultural beliefs that stem from minority group and class experiences. Overall, there are many signs of optimism. Racial and ethnic gaps in educational achievement and attainment have narrowed over the past three decades by every measure available to social scientists. Educational aspirations are universally high for all racial and ethnic groups as most adolescents expect to go to college. However, substantial gaps remain, especially between less advantaged groups such as African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans and more advantaged groups such as whites and Asian Americans. The racial and ethnic hierarchy in educational achievement is apparent across varying measures of the academic experience.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
417
    417
  • Thumbnail: Page 
418
    418
  • Thumbnail: Page 
419
    419
  • Thumbnail: Page 
420
    420
  • Thumbnail: Page 
421
    421
  • Thumbnail: Page 
422
    422
  • Thumbnail: Page 
423
    423
  • Thumbnail: Page 
424
    424
  • Thumbnail: Page 
425
    425
  • Thumbnail: Page 
426
    426
  • Thumbnail: Page 
427
    427
  • Thumbnail: Page 
428
    428
  • Thumbnail: Page 
429
    429
  • Thumbnail: Page 
430
    430
  • Thumbnail: Page 
431
    431
  • Thumbnail: Page 
432
    432
  • Thumbnail: Page 
433
    433
  • Thumbnail: Page 
434
    434
  • Thumbnail: Page 
435
    435
  • Thumbnail: Page 
436
    436
  • Thumbnail: Page 
437
    437
  • Thumbnail: Page 
438
    438
  • Thumbnail: Page 
439
    439
  • Thumbnail: Page 
440
    440
  • Thumbnail: Page 
441
    441
  • Thumbnail: Page 
442
    442