Magnuson, Katherine, Rosenbaum, Dan T., & Waldfogel, Jane
Inequality and Black-White Achievement Trends in the NAEP
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Examining how recent changes in economic inequality and related social dimensions of inequality relate to trends in Black-White test score gaps. Links between inequality and black-white achievement trends for nine-years-olds are analyzed.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Russel Sage Foundation
Steady Gains and Stalled Progress: Inequality and the Black-White Test Score Gap, Chapter 1, pp. 33-65
- Controlling for child's characteristic and average characteristics of families from same race group in that child's state does help explain a portion of Black-White test score gap in math and reading.
- Parental education particularly important
- When state income inequality rises, the test score gap decreases but it is not contained to Black and White students.
- In 1978, Black students scored 30.7 points lower (0.85 standard deviations) than White students on math tests
- In 1990, Black students sharply gained in math scores which continued for the decade, with another sharp gain in 2004
- In 1975, Black students scored 30.5 points (0.74 standard deviations) less than White students on reading test
- No significant gain on reading test scores for Blacks except in 2004.
- For both Blacks and Whites, income inequality is associated with lower math and reading scores
- This inequality is slightly larger for Whites than for Blacks
- Rising economic inequality negatively affects the achievement of Whites and Blacks but has little bearing on the Black-White test score gap
Chapter in Book
Academic Achievement, Achievement Gap, African American, Income Gap, Math, Reading
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Fixed Effects Regression Models
Unit of Analysis:
- Used scores from 9th graders on the National Assessment of Educational Progress Long-Term Trend data (NAEP-LTT) from 1975-2004.
- Combined data with March Current Population Survey (CPS)
- Used only states and years which had at least twenty-five Black children with assessment data for at least two years with CPS data also available.
- Controlled for child's characteristic and average characteristics of families from same race group in that child's state.
- DV: Reading and math test scores
- IV: Race and sex, parental education/newspaper receipt, maternal education/age, family structure, income inequality and poverty (measured as 50th percentile to 10th percentile median income of state)