Beck, Audrey N., & Muschkin, Clara G.
The Enduring Impact of Race: Understanding Disparities in Student Disciplinary Infractions and Achievement
San Diego State University
To what extent do persistent race gaps in educational outcomes stem from differences in the level of advantage that students bring to school or from differences in opportunities to succeed offered by the schools they attend?
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Vol. 55 No. 4 Pp. 637-658
The authors find that (1) students' family and demographic characteristics are the most important
explanatory factors; (2) the distribution of students across schools with differing racial composition,
school sizes, teacher qualifications, and poverty levels also contributes to explaining the gaps; but (3) a substantial portion of each race gap remains unexplained by these compositional differences.
Higher socioeconomic status is predictive of higher achievement in reading and a lower likelihood of
High levels of parental education have a stronger positive effect on reading and deterring misbehavior
among White students than among Black students.
Free lunch eligibility decreases achievement similarly for all students but increases misbehavior to a greater extent among Whites than among Blacks.
Their measures of school experience show substantial variation by race. In general, these statuses are less detrimental among Blacks. However, in one exception to this pattern, we find that being old for grade has a much larger negative impact on Black reading achievement than on White reading achievement.
The percentage of Black teachers in a school is positively associated with reading achievement for Black students, but is negatively associated with reading achievement for White students.
Racial concentration, as measured by overrepresentation of Black students in the school, decreases achievement as Black students become more overrepresented in the school relative to the district; however, this effect was not significant for misbehavior.
The parental educational resources of the student body increase achievement and decrease the likelihood of committing an infraction among White but not Black students.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Achievement Gap, Behavior, Composition, Racial Composition, Racial Inequalities
Method of Analysis:
7th grade students attending public middle schools
Unit of Analysis:
This study uses administrative data on seventh graders attending North Carolina public schools in the 2000-2001 academic year, linking test score and disciplinary information for individual students.
The final sample is 58,441 seventh grade students enrolled in 272 schools in 80 districts.
DV: student achievement- measured by standardized reading and math test scores.
The disciplinary outcome variable is a dichotomous variable called any offense and includes a wide range of offenses, from minor disruptive behavior to legally reportable offenses (such as drug use or possession of a weapon) and or those that resulted in a suspension, expulsion, or placement in alternative learning program.
IV: Gender, free or reduced lunch (a measure of poverty), school/grade level factors, school experience factors, and peer factors.
School/Grade level factors:
Racial representation, parents’ education (dichotomous variable do parents have above a high school education), teacher experience (dichotomous variable -first year teaching), percent Black teachers, grade cohort size.
School experience variables:
Old for grade (OFG), retained (if they repeated a grade), number of infractions committed, previous years reading scores.
Percent of grade that is OFG, percent of grade retained.