Objectives. This article examines the relationship between race, socioeconomic status, and achievement using an ecological perspective.
Methods. Conventional theory suggests that as parent human capital increases, family resources increase, and therefore student achievement should increase. However, differential academic achievement is still observed between black and white adolescents in similar middle-class families. I first provide a descriptive analysis of three domains of the local ecology that I theorize influence adolescent achievement: neighborhoods, parenting styles, and time use. I then use OLS regression analysis to explore whether the inclusion of various domains of adolescents' environments eliminates the black-white test score differential.
Results. I find that the inclusion of the three domains lessens, but does not eliminate, the black-white test score differential.
Conclusion. Black and white adolescents at all socioeconomic levels face different contexts; these different contexts are associated with differences in achievement.