Journey to Excellence

Socioeconomic Groups

socioeconomic - (adj) of, relating to, or involving a combination of social and economic factors on individuals or groups

The census bureau of the American federal government uses three pieces of information to determine socioeconomic status of families or people groups: (1) geography (urban, suburban, rural), (2) family income, and (3) parental educational level. These characteristics often affect such important family issues as health- care, academic self-perception, motivation for learning, and even the availability of technology to support educational success. The influence of socioeconomic status on students’ academic performance is well documented.

Socioeconomic status is a real factor in describing educational success and a convenient vehicle to discuss stratification of society without using racial or ethnic descriptors. The danger is that we do not become satisfied with a classification that limits equitable educational opportunities. Rather, socioeconomic status should be a means of identifying special programs, activities, or interventions to create optimum academic success.


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Grant, C. A. & Sleeter, C. (2003). Turning on learning: Five approaches for multicultural teaching plans for race, class, gender, and disability. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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Utley, C. A. & Obiakor, F. E. Addressing diversity in special education research. contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=ED461195

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