The stark, stubborn race gaps in educational achievement undermine the American promise of equal opportunity. In particular, the divide between the test scores of white and black students reflects and reinforces unequal life chances.
But not all students fall into single racial category. . In 1980, only 3.2 percent of U.S. marriages were between races; by 2010, that number had grown to 8.4 percent, including 15 percent of new marriages in 2015, according to Frey. A sizable and increasing share of U.S. children will think of themselves as multiracial over the next several decades.
Despite the growing number of multiracial students, almost no attention has been given to their educational outcomes. But gaining a better understanding of how multiracial students perform may cast useful light on the causes of race gaps more generally.
A new report shows that:
- Students of multiracial identity are from families with lower socioeconomic status than whites;
- They attend schools that are far more integrated with whites and Asians compared to blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, and Pacific Islanders;
- Multiracial students have the same average test scores as whites on math, science, and writing;
- For reading tests, multiracial students outperform other groups, including Asians; and
- These results contradict the controversial hypothesis that between group differences in IQ result from genetic differences between races.