Predictors of Academic Achievement: Race, Gender and Socioeconomic Status

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One of the biggest problems Americans face today is a US student’s underwhelming academic performance. When compared to other countries, the United States comes in 18th place in math literacy and 25th place in reading literacy. The problem is not just a standard problem throughout the country, as there is much variation between graduation and subject literacy rates, with huge differences also between schools alone. These statistics are disappointing because the US is considered one of the largest world powers. The disparities in American students academic achievement is also detrimental because they are less able to compete in the global market place. Many things have been used to explain this disparity but race has often led as the main…show more content…
The affect of low socioeconomic status is still influential among high achieving students, with the likelihood of achieving a bachelor’s degree increasing with socioeconomic status on students that scored in the upper quartile of an eighth grade math exam (Lee et all., 2008). Race is still an indicator of academic achievement, but its direct and indirect effects are less strong (Lee et all., 2008). Students of majority race (White and Asian) complete high school at a rate of 93%, while students of the non-asian minority complete high school at a rate of 85% (Lee et all., 2008). The gap between students of differing socioeconomic status was far wider, of 44 percentage points, as compared to the gap between races and high school completion rates, which is 8 percentage points. Differences in gender also shows discrepancies, with 31% of females receiving at least a bachelor’s degree and only 26% of males receiving at least a bachelor’s degree.
Discussion and Conclusion: While research has shown that socioeconomic status is a far better predictor of academic achievement than many other factors including race and gender, more focus is being placed on reducing the disparities between races in New Mexico. The passage of house bill 150, better known as the Hispanic Education Act, in early 2010 is the biggest indicator of this focus. The bill aims to research and implement an educational system
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