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The Children of Immigrants at SchoolA Comparative Look at Integration in the United States and Western Europe$
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Richard Alba and Jennifer Holdaway

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814760949

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814760949.001.0001

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Second-Generation Attainment and Inequality

Second-Generation Attainment and Inequality

Primary and Secondary Effects on Educational Outcomes in Britain and the United States

(p.120) Chapter Four Second-Generation Attainment and Inequality
The Children of Immigrants at School

Mary C. Waters

Anthony Heath

Van C. Tran

Vikki Boliver

NYU Press

This chapter examines the extent to which children of immigrants are able to overcome a host of barriers, including ethnic and racial discrimination, and achieve a postsecondary education. Drawing on panel data in the United Kingdom and longitudinal data in the United States, the chapter considers the primary and secondary effects of social background on educational attainment. It also discusses the extent to which immigrant-origin children's academic ability get recognized by different educational systems and whether children of immigrants make the transition to higher education at lower or higher levels than children of natives. The chapter focuses on the educational careers of immigrant-origin children at four points: performance scores at age sixteen, completion of secondary education, completion of tertiary education, and the type of university attended among those who go to university. It shows that there is a relatively unrecognized source of inequality in both Britain and the United States: the sorting of different ethnic groups into institutions of differing status and quality.

Keywords:   immigrants, postsecondary education, United Kingdom, United States, educational attainment, immigrant-origin children, higher education, secondary education, tertiary education, inequality

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