The Government-commissioned study shows that mothers from ethnic minorities are almost twice as likely as white mothers to consult league performance tables when deciding on a secondary school for their child.
Non-white mothers come top of the list, along with London parents, for choosing a school because of its academic record.
A spokeswoman for the Department for Education and Skills said: "We believe these figures show that mothers from ethnic minorities have higher aspirations for their children."
The Commission for Racial Equality said: "A lack of parental support is sometimes used to explain why Afro-Caribbean children perform less well than other groups. But studies like this show parents have a real interest in their children's education.
"The raising of attainment levels of different groups is essential. We have found Pakistani and Bangladeshi children perform less well in the early key stages but much better later on.
"Our studies have already shown that Afro-Caribbean parents are more likely to sit down with their children and take homework seriously than white parents. Hopefully this support will increase attainment levels."