Baker, B. D., Keller-Wolff, C., & Wolf-Wendel, L. (2000). Two steps forward, one step back: Race/ethnicity and student achievement in education policy research. Educational Policy, 14(4), 511-529.

The goal of this study is to bring the discussion of ethnic heterogeneity and the racial/ethnic classification of students for research purposes into the education policy arena. The relationship between race and ethnicity and academic achievement is focused on in particular. The heterogeneity of academic performance in reading and math is demonstrated between subgroups of Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Island students, using the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS ’88). In the case of both the Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Island aggregate groups there are substantial, though not always statistically significant, academic performance differences among ethnic subgroups, with a range of math performance among Hispanic subgroups of 10.7 points (mean score = 34.4) between Cuban and Puerto Rican students and a range of math performance among Asian/Pacific Island students of 15.3 points (mean score = 41.0) between West Asian and Pacific Island students.

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