Immigration and African American educational opportunity: The transformation of minority schools

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This article uses school-level data from the Schools and Staffing Survey and the California Department of Education to assess the extent to which African Americans versus non-Hispanic whites attend schools with children with limited English proficiency (LEP) and to test ecological theoretical expectations about spatial patterns arising within the context of multiethnic, multiracial communities. In areas with few immigrants, LEP students do not "crowd" the schools attended by most African American and non-Hispanic white children. In areas with a significant LEP population, a pattern of segregation emerges between non-Hispanic white students, on the one hand, and LEP and African american students, on the other. In California, LEP students are represented in schools attended by average African Americans at about twice the level as schools attended by average non-Hispanic whites. At the same time, non-Hispanic whites are greatly underrepresented in African american students' schools. This pattern is particularly strong in metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and school districts where the LEP student population reaches about 10 percent, even after MSA and district composition are taken into account.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-189
Number of pages21
JournalSociology of Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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