Added to this is the gender inequality that continues to characterize education.
Although much progress has been made in reducing educational disparities between girls and boys, a gender gap persists in what students learn and the work girls and boys are prepared to do.
The study of inequality lies at the heart of the sociology of social problems.
No matter what the social problem might be, different forms of inequality influence the generation of the problem, the consequences of the problem for diverse groups, the societal reaction to the problem, and the solutions and social policies intended to address the problem.
Hispanic students have, by far, the highest dropout rate, followed by African American students, but income matters too: Students from low-income families have twice the dropout rate of those from middle-income families and four times the dropout rate of those from high-income families.
Family disadvantage also strongly relates to racial variations in math and reading comprehension for schoolchildren, and the higher the family income is, the higher are student test scores and rates of educational attainment.Social inequality, structured into society, blocks opportunities for some groups, generating the conditions from which social problems emerge.The sociological literature offers countless examples of the consequences of blocked opportunity.One way to think about how inequality relates to social problems is to ask how social problems are generated.Social stratification based on race, class, and gender forms the structural context from which social problems are created.In each of these dimensions, social problems correlate with inequality.Analyzing the relationship between various forms of inequality and social problems is central to sociological theory and empirical research.This creates disparities in school quality across neighborhoods and within schools.From ability groupings within schools to across-school differences in curricular offerings and facilities, social class, along with race, produces inequality across and within schools.Furthering the problem of inequality in schooling is the resegregation of schools that is currently under way. School segregation partially follows from residential segregation but also results from the diminution of state-sponsored plans to challenge racial segregation in education. As inequality grows in the United States, schools are also becoming more stratified by social class.Residential and school segregation separate people not only by race but also by class.