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Changes in the Educational Attainment Process: A Trend Analysis of Senior High School Students’ Educational Outcomes in the Last Three Decades

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Abstract:

Higher education vastly expanded since the 1950s. It was society’s hope that this would make higher education more meritocratic and thus opportunities more equal. Using the Sewell and Shah model (1967) which posed two aspects of meritocractic selection, this paper examines how SES and achievement effects on various groups of students’ college plans, attendance, and degree attainment have changed over the last three decades (i.e., 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s). Our study uses confidence intervals on logistic curves to examine “who gains” on each educational outcome at every portion of the SES and test score spectrum. Besides looking at the average, this allows the examination of the whole SES and test score spectrum where each group experiences gains (or losses) over each time period. Contrary to the hope that disadvantaged students would gain, our analyses suggest that the gains in college attendance and degree attainment are primarily for students in the upper portion of the SES scale and the middle and upper portion of the ability scale, but rarely in the lower portion of either scale. Only for college plans are there observable gains for students with lower SES or academic achievement score, thus suggesting that these students’ plans may not work out in practice. For blacks, significant increase in the probability of college plan is observed for students in the lower class and ability range but few statistically significant increases in the probability of college attendance or graduation are observed.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

educ (195), colleg (175), black (158), test (128), effect (116), ses (113), student (110), score (103), white (101), signific (86), plan (84), male (81), femal (78), model (69), attain (68), attend (67), probabl (65), graduat (64), differ (64), 1 (62), cohort (60),

Author's Keywords:

Educational Attainment Process, Inequality, Stratification, Trend Analysis, Educational Outcomes, Race, Gender, Class
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Association:
Name: American Sociological Association
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http://www.asanet.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p183059_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Wong, Manyee. and Rosenbaum, James. "Changes in the Educational Attainment Process: A Trend Analysis of Senior High School Students’ Educational Outcomes in the Last Three Decades" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, TBA, New York, New York City, Aug 11, 2007 <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p183059_index.html>

APA Citation:

Wong, M. and Rosenbaum, J. , 2007-08-11 "Changes in the Educational Attainment Process: A Trend Analysis of Senior High School Students’ Educational Outcomes in the Last Three Decades" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, TBA, New York, New York City Online <PDF>. 2013-12-15 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p183059_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Higher education vastly expanded since the 1950s. It was society’s hope that this would make higher education more meritocratic and thus opportunities more equal. Using the Sewell and Shah model (1967) which posed two aspects of meritocractic selection, this paper examines how SES and achievement effects on various groups of students’ college plans, attendance, and degree attainment have changed over the last three decades (i.e., 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s). Our study uses confidence intervals on logistic curves to examine “who gains” on each educational outcome at every portion of the SES and test score spectrum. Besides looking at the average, this allows the examination of the whole SES and test score spectrum where each group experiences gains (or losses) over each time period. Contrary to the hope that disadvantaged students would gain, our analyses suggest that the gains in college attendance and degree attainment are primarily for students in the upper portion of the SES scale and the middle and upper portion of the ability scale, but rarely in the lower portion of either scale. Only for college plans are there observable gains for students with lower SES or academic achievement score, thus suggesting that these students’ plans may not work out in practice. For blacks, significant increase in the probability of college plan is observed for students in the lower class and ability range but few statistically significant increases in the probability of college attendance or graduation are observed.

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