Examining the Effects of School Composition on North Carolina Student Achievement Over Time
Analyze the effects of school level inputs (including school racial and poverty composition) on North Carolina students' reading and math achievement from 4th through 8th grade.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Educational Policy Analysis Archives
- Racial and poverty composition of schools affect student achievement net of student, family and other school influences.
- Increasing teacher quality and school resources reduces, but does not eliminate, the effects of school racial and poverty composition on student achievement.
- Findings support desegregation advocates assertions that diversity in schooling does indeed affect student achievement. For reading and math, at all three grades, students in racially imbalanced minority high poverty schools have the lowest achievement. In contrast, students in low poverty, racially balanced schools have the highest predicted achievement in 4th and 6th grade and children in racially imbalanced white low poverty schools have the highest math and reading achievement in 8th grade.
- Although being in classrooms with higher proportions of low-income students affects student achievement, the racial balance of a school has effects independent of the poverty composition of a school, even when controlling for student factors and other school characteristics.
- Extra funding that high poverty schools receive is likely not enough to increase achievement in those schools.
- All of the teacher characteristics observed have effects on student achievement in one or more grades.
- Targeting experienced teachers to the lower grades may be beneficial in increasing achievement for students in those schools.
- When controlling for school and family background, Hispanic students, both male and female Hispanic students have higher predicted achievement than white females in reading when home and school factors are controlled.
- At all three points in time, students who attended high poverty schools have lower achievement than their counterparts in schools with fewer low income students. All students in racially balanced, low poverty schools had higher achievement than if they were in other school times at two of the three times included in the study.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Composition, Latinos, Racial Composition, SES, Teachers
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Students in 4th, 6th and 8th grades in NC
Unit of Analysis:
- Data from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) on student achievement, student background characteristics, and school characteristics.
- Data from cohort of NC students who were in 3d grade in 2000/2001 school year, in fourth grade in the 2001/2002 school year, in 6th grade in the 2003/2004 school year, and in eight grade in the 2005/2006 school year.
- Exclude students who attended in charter schools, alternative schools, or students who were in special education classes.
- Sample consists of 77,425 4th graders in 1993 schools; 71,744 6th graders in 561 schools and 62,548 8th graders in 527 schools.
- Created school race by poverty level (race/poverty) cohorts of schools to examine the unique effects of both race and poverty composition on student achievement scores.
- DV: Students' reading and math End of Grade achievement scores in 4th, 6th and 8th grades.
- IV: Race and SES composition, student/teacher ratio, teacher characteristics, per pupil expenditure, race/gender cohorts, socioeconomic status, afterschool activities, gifted, prior achievement.