Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
The aim and purpose of this paper is to determine why students with a migration background are overrepresented in the lowest secondary school and underrepresented in the highest secondary school in Germany. Through an analysis of previous literature, three different determinants will be evaluated: culture and language, discrimination and socioeconomic status. While previous studies emphasize socioeconomic status as the most important determinant, other parental background factors linked to culture and language should not be ignored. Furthermore, while there is discrimination apparent in the German education system, the factors creating such discrimination also have important links to a student’s family. So, this paper will demonstrate why parental background factors beyond socioeconomic status are still critical in the educational attainment of students with a migration background.