Neighborhood and School Factors in the School Performance of Immigrants’ Children

Suet-ling Pong, Pennsylvania State University
Lingxin Hao, Johns Hopkins University

This study applies Jencks and Mayer’s (1990) theoretical models to investigate neighborhood effects on the school performance of the children of immigrants. Our sample includes non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic White adolescents, as well as adolescents from three Latino groups (Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican), and two Asian groups (Chinese, Filipino). Using cross-classified random effects modeling, we examine the effects of the school – a neighborhood institution – alongside other neighborhood factors. Our results suggest that neighborhood SES and school SES are positive factors, but poor school climate and the proportion of foreign-born and limited English-proficient neighbors are negative factors in the school performance of immigrants’ children. Neighborhood and school factors account for very little of the school performance gap by ethnicity and nativity status.

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Presented in Session 21: Youth Educational Inequality