Opportunities to Learn Discrimination: Course Placement, Racialized Tracking and Expectations of Racial Discrimination

Sarah Blanchard, University of Texas at Austin

U.S. schools are becoming increasingly diverse yet are persistently stratified. Middle school represents a unique point in which students are sorted into course sequences that will shape both their future opportunities to learn and also their ideas about themselves. Students’ experiences with course placement and racial/ethnic stratification in school may inform their beliefs about meritocracy and discrimination in U.S. society. I use administrative and survey data from more than thirty racially and ethnically diverse middle schools in Texas. This work assesses how students’ course placement and the racial/ethnic inequality in the placement of their peers informs their expectations of whether discrimination may prevent them from meeting their educational goals.

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Presented in Poster Session 8