Education Report Roundup

Digital Divide Persists Among Racial Groups

By Rhea R. Borja — October 24, 2005 1 min read

Black and Latino children are far less likely than their white and Asian-American counterparts to have home computers, a tool that some suggest helps boost high school graduation rates, concludes a study.

While 77.7 percent of Asian-American students and 74.6 percent of white students have computers at home, only 50.6 percent of black students and 48.7 percent of Latino students do, says the report, which was conducted by Robert Fairlie, an associate professor of economics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He found that the racial disparity exists even when factors such as parental education and income are considered.

In addition, Mr. Fairlie’s study suggests that teenagers who have access to computers at home are 6 to 8 percentage points more likely to graduate from high school than teenagers who lack a home computer.