Poverty & Segregation: An Examination of Factors Affecting Chicano/Latino Achievement in Los Angeles High Schools (formerly: "Institutional factors Achievement")
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As a societal institution, high school represents a critical 'sorting' mechanism in determining future life chances for students. The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is the second largest in the country, and is overwhelmingly (71%) Latino. While the Latino population in the U.S. continues to rapidly increase, Latinos tend to perform poorly nationwide. Furthermore, Whites have historically segregated Latino students at all school levels, and this practice has continued, unabated, through the present. A large body of research has already shown segregation and poverty to have deleterious effects on Latino academic performance. In 33 LAUSD public high schools, the least segregated schools tended to have more high achievers on the Stanford 9 grade 11 reading and language tests. Schools in lower per-capita income areas tended to have fewer high achievers on the Stanford 9 grade 11 reading test. Using an ordinary least squares regression, segregation has a greater influence on Latino academic achievement than income, and in some cases, the negative effect of segregation was greater in magnitude than the positive effect of income.