Muschkin, Clara, & Beck, Audrey
Explaining Race Differences in Student Behavior and Academic Achievement: The Relative Contribution of Student, Peer, and School Characteristics
Explore a wide range of variation in individual and contextual influences on the behavior and academic achievement of black and white students.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
- Student level socioeconomic factors explain approx 37% of the compositional effect, or 28% or the total gap in the probability of committing any disciplinary infraction. Parental education explains 9.2% of the compositional effect, while free/reduced price lunch eligibility explains 27.5% of the compositional effect, confirming that racial differences in socioeconomic status explain substantial portion of the gap behavior.
- The disproportionate distribution of retained students accounts for 9.2% of the composition effect, the distribution of old for grade students explain only 0.8% of the effect.
- Academic achievement also explains substantial portion of the racial gap, with 36.7% of the compositional effect on race differences is explained by different distributions of achievement in the two groups.
- Approximately 21.6% of the compositional effect can be explained by differences in the proportion of peers that have committed at least one infraction during the year.
- School level descriptive measures, such as grade size, urban school , and socioeconomic status of peers serve to reduce the gap between White students and Black students, as indicated by the negative estimates.
- SES factors not only increase the likelihood of committing any infraction for both White and Black students, but also explain slightly less than a third of the total difference between Black and White students.
- The proportion of disruptive peers is positively related to the likelihood of committing any infraction, with each percent increasing the likelihood by about 7% for both groups.
Academic Achievement, Achievement Gap, Composition, Discipline, Math, Peer Effects, SES
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Students in grades 3-12 in public schools in NC
Unit of Analysis:
- Data comes from the North Carolina Education Research Data Center at Duke University and contain data on every student in grades 3-12 in public schools, from 1996-97 to present.
- Outcome measures, infractions and suspensions, come from the Offenses-Consequences dataset.
- Other measures come from the End of Grade test database.
- IV: Social and economic resources (female, parental education, eligible for free or reduced price lunch, prior reading achievement), age/grade level, grade retention and old grade status, school characteristics (urban school , cohort size, influence of peers (proportion of 7th graders who have committed at least one infraction, proportion of 7th graders who were retained, the proportion of 7th graders who were old for grade), school resources (per pupil expenditures, measures of teacher quality).
- DV: Disciplinary behavior and end of grade reading and math scores among seventh grade students.
- This study emphasizes the linkages between the academic and behavioral outcomes, and propose that many of the explanations of the achievement gap also contribute to understanding differences in student behavior in school.
- (1) A model for predicting any infraction (logit analyses by race):
- - DV: infraction (disciplinary behavior)
- - IV: individual level (female, parent has at least some college, eligible for free/reduced price lunch, returning student, retained student, old for grade student, reading achievement score in 6th grade), school grade (% of 7th graders who have committed at least one infraction, % of 7th graders who are OFG, % of 7th graders who were retained, 7th grade cohort size), urban school, % with parental education >HS).
- (2) Another model to explain contribution of composition to Black/White Difference in Committing any infraction
- Uses the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition technique to quantify racial differences in achievement associated with distribution and with effects of explanatory factors.