TEMPE, AZ–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – US Newswire)–Nov. 25, 2003–The following was released today by the Center for Public Information on Population Research:
When family characteristics are taken into account, school achievement gains of immigrant high-schoolers equal or exceed those of their native peers, according to a study published in the November issue of the journal Demography.
Demographers Jennifer Glick of Arizona State University and Michael White of Brown University also find no evidence that more recent groups of immigrants are further behind or achieve less than earlier immigrants: The achievement gains of immigrant students in the early 1990s outpaced those of immigrant students in the early 1980s, they report.
Glick and White examined the gains immigrant students made on standardized tests between their sophomore and senior years of high school. They used two similar nationally representative surveys: High School and Beyond (almost 13,000 respondents in 1980 and 1982); and National Educational Longitudinal Study (about 17,000 respondents in 1990 and 1992). Students were divided into recent immigrants (in the U.S. six years or less), preschool immigrants, second generation (at least one foreign-born parent), and natives.
They found that immigrant students get as much of high school as native students.
“Once we take into account the position at the starting line, immigrants proceed at least as well as natives,” said White. “This bodes well for immigrant- and second generation youth being productive members of the economy following graduation.”
The researchers found that family characteristics — parents’ income and education, race/ethnicity, and language — had a greater impact on achievement levels and gains than the length of time a student lived in the United States. Policies that seek to reduce socioeconomic and racial/ethnic inequality are likely to benefit both native and foreign-born students, they suggest.
The research was sponsored by the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development.
Demography is the peer-reviewed journal published by the Population Association of America. The full article, titled “The Academic Trajectories of Immigrant Youths: Analysis Within and Across Cohorts,” is available on http://www.prb.org/cpipr. Click on “Articles from the Journal Demography.” The Center for Public Information on Population Research, a project of the Population Reference Bureau, is funded by the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development.
Arizona State University
Jennifer Glick, 480-965-9209,
Michael White, 401-863-1083