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Variable Graduation Rates among Races - Research Paper Example

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Variable Graduation Rates among Races Motivations and Disincentives The completion of high school is an important moment in an individual’s learning and development, and often provides an indication of future success. Students that graduate from high school are more likely to go on to higher learning, and on average earn higher wages than those who do not graduate…
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Variable Graduation Rates among Races
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Download file to see previous pages America is a culturally diverse nation, and consequently it is important not only to examine the general effectiveness of the school system, but also to determine whether there is any difference between the cultures. Variations in graduation rates between cultures are one way of determining this. Consequently, this report aims to examine the differences in graduation rates between White, Hispanic and Black students, and to attempt to determine some of the driving factors for this variation. Graduation rates from high school are not static across different races, instead they vary significantly. In the United States, for the 2007 to 2008 school year, the average graduation rate for White students across all states was 81.0%. In contrast, for the same period only 63.5% of Hispanic students graduated and 61.5% of Black students (Rampell, 2010). This is a difference of approximately 20% between White students and those of other races. Other observers have also noted a significant difference in graduation rates between the races. A 2003 study observed that graduation rates for Black and Hispanic students were 51% and 52% respectively, while the rates for White students were 72% (Greene & Forester, 2003). This shows that even while graduation rates have increased, the disparity between races remain present. Indeed, both studies show a difference of 20% between the two groups. This suggests that a different approach needs to be taken to close the gap between minority races and White students. These results indicate that White students going to high school have a much greater chance of graduating than either Black or Hispanic students. What drives this difference? Why do racial minorities appear to fare worse in the educational arena than their White counterparts? One argument for why Whites are more likely to graduate school is differences in socioeconomic background. Black and Hispanic children have a higher chance of living in a poor environment than White students (Wilson, 2011). Socioeconomic background can have a significant effect on a student’s ability to work. For example, a child whose family has low income and is often hungry may have difficulty focusing on school work. Additionally, there may be increased pressure for them to find a job rather than finish school, as this would give them a source of income. Furthermore, students from a poor socioeconomic background suffer in other ways, as they tend to have a lower level of access to healthcare, and have a higher chance of living on a broken family, such as having only one parent (Wilson, 2011). This can also affect performance at school and likelihood of remaining in school, as many children in this environment may be dissatisfied with school, or exhibit behavioral problems. Children in single-parent homes also find it significantly more difficult to obtain assistance with homework, as their parents are often busy. Parental assistance can help a child to perform well in school, which in turn can increase their interest in education and thus their likelihood in remaining at school (Suraz-Orozco & Suraz-Orozco, 1995). Thus, socioeconomic background is a strong driver for differences in graduation rates between White American students. However, socioeconomic background is not the only explanation for lower rates of graduation among Black and Latino students, as this trend is still present when examining ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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