Many studies have shown that academic achievement is highly correlated with social class. Few, however, have attempted to explain exactly how the school helps to reinforce the class structure of the society. In this article Dr. Rist reports the results of an observational study of one class of ghetto children during their kindergarten,first- and second-grade years. He shows how the kindergarten teacher placed the children in reading groups which reflected the social class composition of the class,and how these groups persisted throughout the first several years of elementary school. The way in which the teacher behaved toward the different groups became an important influence on the children's achievement. Dr. Rist concludes by examining the relationship between the "caste" system of the classroom and the class system of the larger society.

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