Entwisle, Doris, & Alexander, Karl
Summer Setback: Race, Poverty, School Composition, and Mathematics Achievement in the First Two Years of School
Johns Hopkins University
Test score changes over the summer when school is closed to estimate "home" influences.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
American Sociological Review
Vol. 57, No. 1, pp. 72-84
- Segregated Whites gained the most (93.4 points) and segregated African-Americans the least (79.3 points). Gains for Whites and African-Americans in integrated schools were similar -89.0 points for whites and 87.2 points for African Americans.
- In both winters White children in segregated schools gained more than White children in integrated schools and African-American fared about the same in either type of school.
- Integrated schooling, a type of school organization thought to be beneficial especially for African-Americans, conferred its benefits over periods when school was not open. Suggesting that economic level is the key influence rather than student/school type.
- Poorer children lost ground in summer but in winters did about the same, or a little better, than their more advantaged counterparts.
- Seasonal data show close correspondence in patterns of gain for African-American and white children who attended integrated schools in each season; they also show the consistent advantage for segregated Whites compared to segregated African-Americans in every season.
- The overall difference between minority and majority students that emerged over the first two years of school is traced mainly to differences in the performance of youngsters who attended segregated schools.
- Having two parents was not significant as a main effect or in interaction with student/school type.
- The difference by ethnicity evaporated when parental education was taken into account.
- In mathematics economic factors clearly overshadow school racial settings in explaining minority/majority differences.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Academic Achievement, Math, Racial Composition, Summer Setback
Interviews, Secondary Data, Survey
Method of Analysis:
Schools in Baltimore
Unit of Analysis:
- Longitudinal data for African-American and white children over the first two years of school.
- A cohort of Baltimore youngsters from the time they started first grade in the fall of 1982 into the fall of their third year of school.
- Beginning School Study (BSS).
- Sample of 790 beginning first-graders.
- Parents provided information on household configuration and parental education levels through interviews or self administered questionnaires.
- IV: Student/school type (racial/mix), economic standing, parent configuration, family educational level.
- DV: Children's score on the mathematics subtest of the California Achievement Test (CAT) for grades 1,2, and 3