Cultural Diversity In San Antonio Schools


The data presented in this section focuses primarily on the factor of race/ethnicity as a possible contributing factor to disparity in academic performance and English language literacy among American students. This review of literature has provided compelling evidence to support the assertion that race/ethnicity can serve as a predeterminant for potentially subpar academic performance, yet it is important to note that the factor of race/ethnicity is not the only factor to be blamed for the prevailing disparity in English language literacy. Rather, other demographic factors, most notably socioeconomic background, have been explored as possible influential factors behind the academic disparity. In order to determine whether or not this argument has merit, the following section will examine the body of knowledge that is currently available with regard to academic performance and socioeconomic background. Once complete, this should provide valuable insights that can facilitate critical thinking and thought provoking research outcomes.

Socioeconomic Background

In addition to race, socioeconomic status has been a demographic factor that has extensively been linked to academic performance in school aged children. In particular, a number of academic studies have been conducted over the past three decades that sought to determine if a correlative relationship existed between household income and student academic achievement. The bulk of this research has led to the development of a general consensus that a correlative relationship may exist. Importantly, the population of Bexar County is diverse with regard to socioeconomic status, although statistical data shows that nearly 52,000 residents are living under the poverty level, of which 45,114 (19.9%) are Hispanic and 6,782 (4.9%) are white nonhispanic. Ultimately, these statistical results fail to demonstrate the number of school aged children, those under the age of 18, that are living under the poverty level. Available data for Bexar County found that there were as much as 102,000 children under the age of 18 living under the poverty level within the county. The extreme prevalence of poverty and low socioeconomic status among children in Bexar County, Texas suggests that the concept of socioeconomic status impacting academic achievement bears scrutiny in this situation.

As stated previously, a wealth of research has been completed in recent decades regarding the implications of socioeconomic status on academic performance. Barry was able to provide compelling evidence to support the existance of a correlative relationship between socioeconomic status and academic achievement. Essentially, this study found that children under the age of 18 living in a household with low socioeconomic status will have a greater propensity to achieve lower test scores than students from high socioeconomic positioned households. To bolster these findings, Barry presents the results of OLS regression tests that appeared to indicate that socioeconomic status had a much greater influence on student performance than any other relavent variable that was analyzed in the study.