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Race and Academic Achievement in Racially Diverse High Schools: Opportunity and Stratification
Teachers College Record (2010)
  • Chandra Muller, University of Texas at Austin
  • Catherine Riegle-Crumb, University of Texas at Austin
  • Kathryn S. Schiller, University at Albany, State University of New York
  • Lindsey Wilkinson, Portland State University
  • Kenneth A. Frank, Michigan State University
This study uses newly available data to investigate whether racially diverse high schools offer equality of educational opportunity to students from different racial and ethnic groups. This is examined by measuring the relative representation of minority students in advanced math classes at the beginning of high school and estimating whether and how this opportunity structure limits the level of achievement attained by African American and Latino students by the end of high school.

Findings show that schools vary in the extent to which African American and Latino students are underrepresented in advanced sophomore math classes. This pattern of racial inequality in schools is associated with lower minority senior-year grades and enrollment in 4-year postsecondary institutions, net of students’ own background.

Evidence consistently suggests that schools can play an active role in the provision of opportunities for social mobility or in the exacerbation of social inequality, depending on how they are structured. It is important to consider racial stratification within schools as a mechanism of inequality of educational opportunity.
  • African American students,
  • Latino students,
  • Social mobility,
  • Social inequality,
  • Educational opportunity
Publication Date
Publisher Statement
Copyright 2010 Teachers College, Columbia University.
Citation Information
Muller, Chandra, Catherine Riegle-Crumb, Kathryn Schiller, Lindsey Wilkinson, and Kenneth Frank. 2010. “Race and Academic Achievement in Integrated High Schools: Opportunity and Stratification.” Teachers’ College Record 112(4): 1038-1063.