Substantial uncertainty exists about the impact of schoolquality on the black-whiteachievementgap. Our results, based on both Texas Schools Project (TSP) administrative data and the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey (ECLS), differ noticeably from other recent analyses of the black-whiteachievementgap by providing strong evidence that schools have a substantial effect on the differential. The majority of the expansion of the achievementgap with age occurs between rather than within schools, and specific school and peer factors exert a significant effect on the growth in the achievementgap. Unequal distributions of inexperienced teachers and of racial concentrations in schools can explain all of the increased achievementgap between grades 3 and 8. Moreover, non-random sample attrition for school changers and much higher rates of special education classification and grade retention for blacks appears to lead to a significant understatement of the increase in the achievementgap with age within the ECLS and other data sets. Eric A. Hanushek
Sizeable achievement differences by race appear in early grades, but substantial uncertainty exists about the impact of schoolquality on the black-whiteachievementgap and particularly about its evolution across different parts of the achievement distribution. Texas administrative data show that the overall growth in the achievementgap between third and eighth grade is higher for students with higher initial achievement and that specific teacher and peer characteristics including teacher experience and peer racial composition explain a substantial share of the widening. The adverse effect of attending school with a high black enrollment share appears to be an important contributor to the larger growth in the achievement differential in the upper part of the test score distribution. This evidence reaffirms the major role played by peers and schoolquality, but also presents a policy dilemma. Teacher labor market complications, current housing patterns, legal limits in segregation efforts, and uncertainty about the overall effects of specific desegregation programs indicate that effective policy responses will almost certainly involve a set of school improvements beyond simple changes in peer racial composition and the teacher experience distribution.
This paper investigates the question of whether teachers treat children differentially on the basis of factors other than observed ability, and whether this differential treatment in turn translates into differences in student outcomes. I suggest that teachers may use a child's name as a signal of unobserved parental contributions to that child's education, and expect less from children with names that "sound" like they were given by uneducated parents. These names, empirically, are given most frequently by Blacks, but they are also given by White and Hispanic parents as well. I utilize a detailed dataset from a large Florida school district to directly test the hypothesis that teachers and school administrators expect less on average of children with names associated with low socio- economic status, and these diminished expectations in turn lead to reduced student cognitive performance. Comparing pairs of siblings, I find that teachers tend to treat children differently depending on their names, and that these same patterns apparently translate into large differences in test scores.
opposite direction. If the costs of attending post-secondary schooling are higher for blacks, then the blacks who choose to attend post-secondary may have higher unobserved ability than whites who choose to attend post-secondary schooling. It follows that, absent discrimination in the labor market, blacks who graduate from college should have a higher wage than whites who graduate from college. Jacobson et al (2001) find that for young adults with similar levels of prior educational achievement, blacks are more likely to attend college than whites. Among those in college with similar levels of ability (reading and mathematics test scores), blacks are just as likely, or more likely, to complete college as whites. Urzua (2008) finds that for the same ability level, blacks have higher levels of schooling. It is unclear what is driving this result. It could be that it takes more schooling to get the same level of ability. It may also be that for the same level of ability, blacks have a lower supply of funds and have more of an incentive to perform well in school. Therefore, they may be more likely to complete their degree, or continue with their education than their white counterparts. These results may indicate that blacks who choose to attend college are different than their white counterparts.
torically appreciated, the estimation of peer eﬀects is challenging (Angrist and Pischke, 2008, 192ﬀ) because of non-random selection and unmeasured confounding variables (like teacher quality) that aﬀect student outcomes. The most persuasive recent studies have used natural experiments to estimate the impact of changes in class composition on out- comes (e.g. Imberman et al., 2009). A second strategy is to exploit potentially random assignment of students to classes within schools. This strategy is only persuasive when applied in school districts that make it diﬃcult for parents to “teacher shop” (Ammer- mueller and Pischke, 2009). A third strategy has examined arguably random fluctuations in adjacent cohorts (e.g. of gender or race composition) for the same school and grade (Hoxby, 2000; Gould et al., 2009), though these studies have not looked at peer eﬀects related to socioeconomic characteristics. Although the magnitude of estimated eﬀects is not large (about 0.15 standard deviations), it is about the same as some of the most believable estimates of teacher eﬀects, whether for academic, or social and behavioral outcomes (Rockoﬀ, 2004; Jennings and DiPrete, 2010). Meanwhile, recent studies whose primary estimation strategy controls for observable potential confounders have found a similar eﬀect size on test scores (Crosnoe, 2009; Rumberger and Palardy, 2005).
Understatement of the income coefficient produces overstatement of the black-white test score gap conditional on income. In both the CNLSY and ECLS samples, we find that conventional methods understate the share of the black-white test score gap that is attributable to family income differences by about half. Where the prior literature has indicated that relatively little of the gap can be attributed to family income, we find that family financial circumstances can explain 40 to 75% of the raw gap at age 10 or 11. Moreover, we find that the addition of a control for permanent income to the already-rich covariates considered by Fryer and Levitt (2006) halves the already-small unexplained gap in their specification. Other variables – like maternal education, the presence of a father, or occupation-based socioeconomic status indices – do not do nearly as good of a job of capturing the family circumstances that are related with student achievement and that differ between races. This is not the pattern that one would expect if income is merely proxying for noneconomic family factors. Thus, although our analysis is purely descriptive, it does offer some hope that improvements in black families’ economic circumstances could, absent any other changes, lead to substantial closing of the black-white test score gap.
As noted in the introduction, we use two data sets linked to one another. The oldest and most well-known is the Panel Study for Income Dynamics (PSID). The PSID is a longitudinal survey containing socio-economic information of a representative sample of families of the U.S., with data at the level of the individ- ual. The second source of data is the Child Development Supplement (CDS) to the PSID (Mainieri, 2006). The CDS contains detailed information about cogni- tive achievement, health status, time use at home and at school, and information about schools, for children from PSID families. There are two waves of CDS data, CDS-I and CDS-II, the first gathered in 1997 and the second in 2002-2003. The CDS-II wave is based on interviews of 91% of the families that participated in CDS-I. Combining the PSID and the two waves of the CDS, we obtain time series data on several measures of children’s cognitive achievement, as well as covari- ates such as family income, parental education, race, time use, etc.
Further, the labor force participation decisions of earlier cohorts, like Baby Boom 2, are more likely to be affected by changes in social attitudes, access to birth control, and changes in male earnings. Women from Generation X and Generation Y will also alter their labor force participation as birth control continues to advance in quality and quantity and social attitudes soften towards women working, as well as in response to changes in male earnings. We find that the u-shaped pattern only present for white women has become flatter for younger generations, indicating that white women appear to be delaying childbirth for careers. This change among potential high wage white earners is partially responsible for an increase in the black and white wage gap. We also find that among mar- ried women with children, later cohorts saw disproportionate increases in labor force par- ticipation among white women, whereas the opposite is true for single women with children. Further, we also find an increase in the labor force participation of highly edu- cated white women in more recent cohorts during childbearing years. If middle class white women are entering the labor force to provide additional income to their families, the wage gap between white and black women should increase.
Within the context of an increasingly insecure economy and widespread precarious 1 work (Kalleberg 2011; Rubin 2012), employment insecurity has become extremely relevant to the work experience. Neoliberalism, which has spread since the 1970s, emphasizes the privatization of economic power and influence (Centeno and Cohen 2012). Neoliberal organizational practices such as task reorganization, repeated layoffs, and widespread use of contingent workers reflect employers’ attempts to maximize the efficiency of production (Crowley and Hodson 2014) . These practices negatively impact job quality (Crowley and Hodson 2014) and lead to increased worker precarity (Hollister 2011). The spread of these practices has also intensified other changes that negatively affect workers (Kalleberg 2011), such as technological change and globalization, increased market competition, reduced government involvement in the economy, and a decline in union and worker influence (Kalleberg 2011; Rubin 2012). These changes have transformed the “shared understandings, beliefs, and ideas about structural relations” that compose the social contract (Rubin
including, smaller class sizes, high quality teachers, and decreased teacher turnover(Borg, Borg, &Stranahan,2012). This study focused exclusively on the school calendar as a factor that might lead to student learning improvement and did not investigate other factors that might influence academic performance among economically disadvantaged students. The findings of this study reveal that the school calendar is not a factor that is related to the academic success of students attending schools with large populations of students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. These findings add weight to the argument that school calendars are not likely to influence students ’ psychosocial functioning, educational experiences, or levels of academic achievement. The more continuous instructional schedule provided by a year-round school calendar has not proven to be an effective strategy for narrowing the socioeconomic achievementgap.
differentiate between individual sounds and blended sounds (Delcamp, 1987; Gunning, 1995). Having grown up in Elizabethtown, Kentucky (a small suburb outside of Louisville, Kentucky), I was quite familiar with Black children not being taught with the same rigor as White children and not being recognized for their brilliance. These memories, which make up my subjectivity, surfaced, and I was determined that I was going to “help” Leroy. Leroy was going to learn to read well, and he was going to do well in all of his classes. He was going to stop getting into trouble and was going to finish high school and go on to college. That was the dream I had for Leroy. The next week when I came to volunteer, Leroy was not there. Leroy had moved to Detroit, Michigan. The teacher told me that Leroy and his family moved around quite often, and as she spoke of Leroy’s frequent infractions, constant principal visits, and lackluster home life, she shook her head, shrugged her shoulders and let out a sigh. This is the memory that directed my passion for research to support Black male student achievement.
Hispanic-White phenomenon. In the early 1900’s, immigrating Europeans also demonstrated achievement gaps in comparison to native-born Americans (Lieberson, 1980). Also, during this time period immediately following Reconstruction, the amount of funding for African American schools fell to only 30% of what was being spent on White schools (Norman et al., 2001). This created a legacy of inequality that set the stage for today’s achievementgap. Other contributing factors of inequality put forward to help explain the persistence of the achievementgap today have included a gap in teacher quality (Boyd et. al, 2008), a lack of equity in early childhood summer programs (Phillips, Crouse, & Ralph, 1998), a disparity in the application of discipline polices, in particular out of school suspension (Skiba et al., 2011), and institutionalized racial policies and climate (Weissglass, 2001; Mattison & Aber, 2007). Likely, all of these and other contributing factors lead to the current state of the achievementgap, and much more comprehensive policy than standardized testing will be required in order to make significant gains in closing the gap (Kober, 2001).
College readiness is greatly dependent on quality K - 12 education. As a result of neighborhood segregation, lower-income students—especially students of color—are too often isolated and concentrated in lower-quality schools. Neighborhoods have grown more segregated, leaving lower-income students—especially students of color—isolated and concentrated in lower-quality schools, and less academically prepared both to enter and complete college. Further, costs at public universities have risen 60 percent in the past two decades, with many low-income and students of color forced to hold down jobs rather than attend college full time and graduating in deep debt. Average student debt for the class of 2011 was $26,600. Student debt is an issue that affects most graduates, but black graduates are far more vulnerable: 80 percent of black students graduate with debt compared with 64 percent of white students. 15 More blacks than whites do not finish their undergraduate studies because
When we correct for measurement error, black children's kindergarten reading test scores predict that they will obtain .6 years less education than whites while their kindergarten math scores predict over a full year less education than whites. When we measure education not in years but in the associated average log earnings, blacks lag behind whites by slightly more than 10 percent. In all cases, the gap is unchanged if we instead make our predictions based on later test scores. If anything, the evidence points to blacks doing better than expected rather than worse as they progress through school. This suggests the Fryer and Levitt results may be due to declines in test measurement error with schooling rather than declines in relative blackachievement. Thus we find no evidence of a racial component in the evolution of achievement through the first eight years of schooling. Black students perform no worse in seventh grade than would have been expected based on their kindergarten scores.
In Columns (13) - (18), I check to see if the estimates are robust to particular functional form assumptions in the model. In Column (13), I allow the population and the fraction of the population that is black to enter the second-step regression linearly. In Column (14), I omit the natural log of the fraction of the population that is black. This would be appropriate if the fraction of the population that is black were endogenously determined. In Column (15), I include a quadratic function of both the fraction of the black male population and the fraction of the white male population with a high school diploma, in the case that increases in the fraction with a high school diploma may at some point signal a declining quality of schooling or a lower quality social network if it is particularly easy to obtain a high school diploma. In Column (16), I include a quadratic function of both the fraction of the black male population and the fraction of the white male population with a college degree, in the case that the fraction with a college degree is a better measure of the quality of schooling or quality of social network than the fraction with a high school diploma. In Column (17), in order to allow for a flexible functional form for the fraction of the population that is black, I control for a fourth-degree polynomial in the fraction of the population that is black. In Column (18), in order to allow for a flexible functional form for the fraction of the black male population and the fraction of the white male population that had a self-employed father present as a child, I control for a quartic in the fraction of the black male population and the fraction of the white male population that had a self-employed father present as a child. Each of these functional form assumptions has little effect on the sign or magnitude of the estimates. 27 In Column (19), I test whether average white prejudice, as measured by the GSS prejudice questions that specifically ask about feelings towards blacks, has an effect on the Hispanic-white self-employment rate gap. The measure of average white prejudice towards blacks should have a much smaller impact on the self- employment rate of Hispanics, although it may still have a negative impact since discrimination against blacks and discrimination against Hispanics may be correlated. I estimate this falsification test using only white Hispanics to avoid allowing black Hispanics to bias the results, since prejudice clearly impacts black self-employment. The estimate is positive and statistically
These recent findings may be confusing to some who think of eliminating racial and ethnic education gaps in the more traditional sense—as an exercise in giving nonwhite children the same educational attainment as white children. Equalizing educational attainment has often been defined as ensuring that black and Hispanic children have as many years of schooling as white children or that they graduate from high school or complete college at the same rates. However, the newer research suggests that what is important is academic achievement, which is related to educational attainment but also to a host of other factors, including income and wealth inequality, access to day care and preschool programs, the number of books in the home, nutrition, health, neighborhood safety, exposure to lead paint and other environmental factors, and the emotional and psychological stress of parents and children. This implies there is a wide range of policies that could be effective in closing educational achievement gaps, such as the numerous policies described in the previous section of this report.
Of course, research shows that many of the problems of underachievement stem from extracurricular affairs. This is why studying particular domestic spheres and social strata are important. Researchers need to fully explore the plight of anti-intellectualism, peer pressure, and other impediments to education in the Black community. An important entry point would be simply deciphering the differences between words and actions. Participants in the current study would report disinterest in the honors program, yet their behaviors indicated otherwise. They spent a lot of time staying after school, asking peers for help, and doing make-up work. It is possible that the culture of anti-intellectualism impacted males especially, making talking about academic rigor and performance ‘uncool.’ Because of this, researchers should design studies that uncover how peer pressure and anti-intellectualism affect perceived behavior and attitude and actual behavior and attitude. Researchers should also determine the kind of differentiated and culturally sensitive instruction most amenable to minority students. This will offer more equal opportunities in society.
systematic differences in schoolquality for Blacks and Whites may explain the divergence in test scores. An alternative explanation is that Whites who choose to attend schools with Blacks are systematically worse than other Whites. Note, however, that a comparison of columns 1 and 4 show that in the fall of kindergarten Black students actually fare somewhat worse relative to Whites who attend schools with Blacks then they do with the full sample of Whites. This finding suggests that the Whites who go to school with Blacks (controlling for observables) actually achieve at a slightly higher level than do those who attend all-White schools, which is consistent with previous research. Moreover, comparing columns 4 and 7, in kindergarten fall, Blacks do even worse relative to Whites attending the same school than they do compared to other Whites. Thus, a simple selection story in which low-achieving Whites are more likely to go to school with Blacks is not consistent with the data. On the other hand, we cannot rule out a priori the possibility that Whites who attend school with Blacks are on lower academic trajectories, despite the fact that they initially score better on tests than other Whites.
In an era where education reform and the continued striving for a better education for its youth is a political hot button, the United States continues to be plagued by a severe and measurable discrepancy in academic achievement between young minority, at-risk students and their White counterparts. Existing within the contemporary education climate is the continued and contentious issue of school choice. For many Black families who feel discouraged, and disenchanted by the age-old traditional public school, the option of a charter school offering innovation, choice and change is enticing. Although the data and literature that exists is inconsistent in providing proof that charter schools as a whole improve academic performance, there are charter schools that are excelling in helping shrink the achievementgap which is plaguing the education climate in this country. One charter school, located in a suburb of a large midwestern city, is continuing to meet and exceed the state's proficiency requirements. What was this charter school doing to excel at narrowing the achievementgap? The key aspects this study will focus on are:
Several public and private programs are now in place in major metropolitan areas to help promote fair housing policies, and may serve as positive examples and starting points for inte- gration efforts. These programs assist minorities in finding and securing affordable rental housing, expand the availability of mortgage credits for low-income households, provide hous- ing quality inspections and even offer post-move counseling to help minorities get access to areas of better socioeconomic opportunity. Nevertheless, as our study shows, no initiative that merely focuses on the socioeconomic consequences of segregation without fully commit- ting to tackle the root cause itself is likely to succeed.