Anthony D. Greene


Data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS: 88) are used to examine differential student placement and to assess the independent effects of race on academic tracking “within” the vocational program. The study examines how the structure of tracking within the vocational program shapes both academic achievement outcomes and career opportunities among high school students.  Student’s placement in the vocational program is argued to function as a unique track program that disadvantage students academically, particularly students of color.  Racial-ethnic minority students are disproportionately placed into lower level academic courses.  Once so placed, their subsequent enrollment patterns in specific vocational courses may have varying effects on students’ academic and career outcomes.  Few studies have attempted to disaggregate how students are further tracked once they are placed into broad high school curriculum tracks.  This study analyzes the specific variations in patterns of race-ethnic student placement within vocational programs and examines the consequences of such placement for academic achievement and career attainment outcomes.


Vocational Program, Tracking, Race, Academic Achievement, School-to-Work Transition

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