ERIC Number: ED474390
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Oct
What Doesn't Meet the Eye: Understanding and Addressing Racial Disparities in High-Achieving Suburban Schools.
Ferguson, Ronald F.
This paper examines racial and ethnic achievement disparities in places where schools are reputedly excellent, reporting on the 2000-2001 Ed-Excel Assessment of Secondary School Culture, which collected data on black, white, Hispanic, Asian, and mixed race students. Questions covered family characteristics, opinions about instructional quality, enjoyment of studies, achievement motivations, course taking patterns, effort, comprehension, grade point averages, and more. Overall, African American and Hispanic students in Minority Student Achievement Network districts had fewer family background advantages on average, had lower grade point averages, and reported less understanding of their lessons than Whites and Asians. They also had lower homework completion rates than Whites but spent virtually the same amount of time doing homework. Skill gaps and differences in home academic supports, not effort or motivation, appeared to be the primary explanations for their completing less homework and getting lower grades than Whites. Conversely, part of the reason that Asians completed more homework and got higher grades than other nonwhite groups was that they devoted more time to their studies. Teacher encouragement was very important in motivating nonwhite students, especially African Americans. This was truly a racial difference, mostly unrelated to socioeconomic status. (Contains 14 tables and 23 references.) (SM)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Asian American Students, Black Students, Elementary Secondary Education, Grade Point Average, Hispanic American Students, Homework, Racial Differences, Socioeconomic Status, Student Motivation, Study Skills, Suburban Schools, Teacher Influence, White Students
North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, 1900 Spring Road, Suite 300, Oak Brook, IL 60523-1480. Tel: 800-356-2735 (Toll Free); Web site: http://www.ncrel.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Cleveland Foundation, OH.; George Gund Foundation, Cleveland, OH.; Rockefeller Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: North Central Regional Educational Lab., Oak Brook, IL.