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Unequal AttainmentsEthnic educational inequalities in ten Western countries$
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Anthony Heath and Yaël Brinbaum

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265741

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265741.001.0001

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Ethnic Differences in Early School-leaving

Ethnic Differences in Early School-leaving

(p.95) 4 Ethnic Differences in Early School-leaving
Unequal Attainments

Jan O. Jonsson

Elina Kilpi-Jakonen

Frida Rudolphi

British Academy

In this chapter we study the differences between ethnic groups in early school-leaving in six of the countries: England and Wales, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the USA. We find sizeable gross differences in early school-leaving between the majority group and some, but far from all, ethnic minority groups, mainly to the disadvantage of minorities. Most differences disappear when we compare those with similar social origins, however, and once we also control for educational performance (grades, or test results) a substantially important disadvantage remains for only one minority group out of the 42 we study. In particular, except for those from the Middle East, Asian minority groups have very high continuation rates into upper secondary education. There is little evidence to suggest that there is any intrinsic or cultural ethnic disadvantage that discourages minority students from staying on in school, or that discrimination or unfair treatment pushes them out.

Keywords:   early school-leaving, drop-out, educational inequality, ethnic minorities, cultural theories, choice theories

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