Immigrant Selectivity and School Readiness in America
Yader Lanuza

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



University of California, Santa Barbara

Primary Discipline

Although income-based educational inequality endures across the educational pipeline, there is one exception: achievement gaps at school entry (hereafter school readiness) are decreasing. Concurrently, the presence of children of immigrants is increasing in American schools. In this project, I examine whether increasing immigrant presence is responsible for decreasing income-based school readiness gaps. Using restricted, nationally representative data from Early Childhood Longitudinal Studies in 1998 and 2010 and Barro-Lee international education data, I examine whether and how immigrant parentsâ�� pre-migration socioeconomic status (immigrant selectivity) impacts the academic achievement of their children at school entry. Many parents with middle- and upper-class socioeconomic status in their countries of origin suffer downward mobility and (sometimes) poverty. Nevertheless, these parents possess� noneconomic middle- and upper-class orientations, proclivities, and practices that serve as resources that boost the academic achievement of their children, including those in low-income households. Consequently, these children may increase the average school readiness scores among low-income children, which, in turn, may decrease income-based school readiness inequality between 1998 and 2010. The case of immigrant families helps us understand how social class matters for childrenâ��s educational performance in the absence of abundant economic resources, and, how these processes, in turn, impact income-based school readiness inequality in the United States.
About Yader Lanuza
Yader R. Lanuza is assistant professor of sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research focuses on the causes and consequences of social inequality, especially in the context of education. He is particularly interested in understanding how the pre-migration social class backgrounds of immigrant parents (immigrant selectivity) influence the schooling experiences of their children in the United States and shape broad nation-wide trends in educational inequality. Dr. Lanuza?s scholarship has been published in the American Sociological Review, International Migration Review, and Journal of Marriage and Family, among others. He has been a fellow of the Ford Foundation and the American Sociological Association?s Minority Program. Dr. Lanuza holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Irvine, an M.A. in sociology of education from New York University, and a bachelor?s degree from Hampshire College.

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