School Performance, Student Ethnic Composition, and Socioeconomic Factors: A Comparison of Four Ethnic Groups

Posted: 22 Feb 2011

Abstract

The article examines whether or not and how student ethnic composition relates to the learning achievement in public schools in the state of California, giving special attention to parental education and socioeconomic factors. To this end, school-level data were taken from over 1,200 public schools in California, and student ethnic composition was calculated for each sample school. The analysis shows that white student academic achievement originates in their economic wealth as well as high levels of parental education, yet Asian academic success primarily derives from parental achievement in education while having little to do with socioeconomic wealth. Equally significant are the findings showing that economic poverty is most prominently associated with the low academic performance of African-American student, while Hispanic low test scores are evenly organized around the low levels of parental education and English proficiency apart from economic poverty. This finding suggests that student ethnic composition influences the overall academic performance of public schools, but the socio-economic mechanism by which student ethnic composition affects school test scores may distinctively vary across four ethnic groups.

Suggested Citation

Ji, Chang Ho, School Performance, Student Ethnic Composition, and Socioeconomic Factors: A Comparison of Four Ethnic Groups. Western Political Science Association 2011 Annual Meeting Paper , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1767208

Chang Ho Ji (Contact Author)

La Sierra University ( email )

Riverside, CA 92515
United States

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