Goldsmith, Pat Rubio
Coleman Revisited: School Segregation, Peers, and Frog Ponds
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Investigates whether peer effects are the reason that students from minority-concentrated schools attain less education than students from white-concentrated schools.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
American Educational Research Journal
Vol. 48, No. 3, Pp. 508-535
- Students from minority-concentrated schools attain less education in the long run that students from White-concentrated schools, controlling for many prior differences among students.
- Frog pond processes offset normative ones, so peer effects cannot explain why minority-concentrated schools yield lower attainment.
- In terms of normative processes, students in minority-concentrated schools tend to have more low-attaining friends and low-achieving schoolmates.
- Schools with many Black and Latino students have frog-pond effects on students course work and especially their class rank; these students take more of the most selective courses in the school than similar students in White-concentrated schools. They also obtain a lower class ranking than similar students in White-concentrated schools, and this improves students long-term educational attainment.
- Theories of minority concentrations in schools must go beyond explanations based on peer effects, because by themselves, they cannot explain why students from minority-concentrated schools attain less education.
Journal Article Empirical Research
African American, Frog Pond Perspective, Hispanics, Peer Effects, Racial Composition
Secondary Data, Survey
Method of Analysis:
Multinomial Logistic Regression
Former students in US schools at age 26
Unit of Analysis:
- Data come from the National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS) 1988 cohort, which was supplemented with geographic information from the 1990 census.
- Sample contains 10,827 students.
- DV: educational attainment at age 26
- IV: school composition (schools mean achievement, schools mean SES, schools proportion of students from single-parent families), peer behavior (friends do not emphasize attainment, unsafe at school, peers create school problems, peer influences on dropping out, and students place a high priority on learning), frog pond effects (students optimism, students percentile class rank, and students track/course level).