Abstract and Keywords
Different socioeconomic backgrounds and barriers to education have contributed to lower educational achievement among blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans, compared to American whites and Asians. The failure of legal integration to close the racial achievement gap is the result of prejudice on the part of teachers, as well as a scarcity of culturally relevant curricula materials for nonwhite children. As a plausible solution to these problems, recent studies show that poor children do better in classes where middle-class children are also present. Middle-class children already have habits and values that support success in the educational system. Integrated schools are not sufficient, because they are often divided in “tracks” that reproduce racial segregation. Racial diversity in the K-12 classroom is fruitful preparation for civic engagement in a pluralistic society made up of citizens from diverse backgrounds.
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