chapter  7
22 Pages

Socioeconomic inequalities in education I: The strength of the relationship

Socioeconomic inequalities in education are a major concern for academics in the field, policymakers and politicians. The basic assumption is that educational outcomes very strongly relate to socioeconomic background. White provides the following examples from the literature:

• The family characteristic that is the most powerful predictor of school performance is socioeconomic status (SES): the higher the SES of the student’s family, the higher his academic achievement. This relationship has been documented in countless studies and seems to hold no matter what measure of status is used (occupation of principal breadwinner, family income, parents’ education, or some combination of these).