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Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines

Volume 24, Issue 1/2, Fall/Winter 2004/2005

Thinking Critically, Choosing Politically II

Karen D. Johnson-Webb
Pages 21-31

The Role of Migration, Family Characteristics and English-Language Ability in Latino Academic Achievement

Latinos comprise the largest minority group in the U.S. and 63 percent are foreign-born. An educational gap exists between Latinos in the U.S. and other groups in the U.S. Lower educational attainment has ramifications for labor market and other socioeconomic outcomes. Factors involving family context have best explained the educational gap, along with English proficiency and migration history. This study, using the Census long-form data, explores the role of socio-economic background, ethnicity, and migration history on educational outcomes of Latinos in the Midwest, an area that is experiencing recent growth in its Latino population. Results indicate that these factors do impinge negatively on academic achievement of Latino and Non-Hispanic black youth. In order to be more effective in alleviating the achievement gap, multicultural education must not only incorporate culture and inclusion, but also a true understanding of the factors and circumstances that impact youth achievement and how these impact achievement.

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