Logan, John R., Minca, Elisabeta, & Adar, Sinem
The Geography of Inequality: Why Separate Means Unequal in American Public Schools
Examines what kinds of schools children of different races and ethnicities are attending and how various school characteristic are associated with overall school performance.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Sociology of Education
Vol. 85, No. 3, Pp. 287-301
- Black, Hispanic, and Native American children attend schools that are on average at the 35th-40th percentile of performance compared with other schools in the same state. White and Asian children are in schools at close to the 60th percentile.
- There is almost no change across grades in reading scores. There is noticeable improvement in mathematics scores in schools attended by Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans, though not for Blacks.
- Latent cluster analysis identified six common types of schools: three high-poverty schools (one is disproportionately located in central cities, is more Hispanic than Black; another is more heavily Black but mixed in location; and the third is also in mixed locations and is mixed in racial composition, though three-quarters of Native American children attend this type of school), and three with lower levels of poverty (one that is almost 90 percent White, lowest in poverty, and predominantly located in the suburbs; another that is almost exclusively White but most commonly found in non-metropolitan areas; and a third that is relatively affluent, disproportionately suburban, with a clear White majority but nontrivial shares of other groups.
- Racial composition of schools is important because schools with more minorities do worse, even after controlling for poverty.
- School poverty has as large an effect as the Black of Hispanic share of students.
- In terms of district characteristics, adults educational levels matter much more than issues of family disruption; the percentage of foreign born people has no significant effect; and there is no evidence that metropolitan location independently affects school performance.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Achievement Gap, African American, Hispanics
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Elementary, middle, and high schools in US
Unit of Analysis:
- Data come from the National Center for Education Statistics and the 2000 census
- Sample contains approximately 45,000 elementary schools, 21,000 middle schools, and 14,000 high schools
- - DV: School percentile test performance (in reading and math) within each state
- - IV: School racial composition (proportion White, proportion Black, proportion Hispanic, proportion Asian, proportion Native American), poverty share, urbanicity, school size, school contains nonelementary grades, and school district characteristics (percentage of people college-educated, percentage of immigrants, percentage of single-parent households)