Inequality in education

Children say the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag in nursery school
Children say the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag in nursery school

Within the US education system there are inequalities between minority groups and the white population.

Statistics show that white Americans and Asians consistently outperform Hispanics, African Americans, and Native Americans in terms of educational attainment. Asian Americans make up 5% of the US population but 10% of undergraduates. Some Asian groups do better than others.

Japanese and Korean Americans who traditionally value education and tend to have higher levels of family stability and higher incomes, perform best.

2013 high school graduation rates from those starting high school in 2009-10:

WhiteHispanicBlackAsianNative American
83%71.4%66.1%93.5%69.1%

Causes of educational inequality amongst Hispanics and African Americans include:

  • attracting suitably qualified teachers – African American and Hispanic students are more likely to be taught by partially-qualified teachers with less experience compared to white students. Problems attracting and retaining suitably qualified teachers can also result in classes going untaught
  • shortage of resources – Poorer schools may have less equipment such as computers and buildings may require extensive repairs. Access to certain subjects such as STEM subjects may also be an issue
  • discipline – More disruptive and disaffected students makes it harder for education to take place. African Americans have been found to be excluded from school at disproportionate rates