Author: Gaddis, S. Michael, & Lauen, Douglas Lee

Title: School Accountability and the Black–White Test Score Gap

University Affiliation: Pennsylvania State University, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


Research Question: 1) Did NCLB subgroup-specific accountability pressure lead to the narrowing of Black-White achievement gaps in math and reading? 2) If accountability pressure narrowed achievement gaps, what changes in the gap occurred?

Published: Yes

Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation: Social Science Research

Journal Entry: Vol. 44 pp. 15-31

Year: 2014


  1. NCLB subgroup-specific accountability pressure in failing schools for the Black subgroup has positive effects for Black students in math and both White and Black students in reading, but the effects are larger for Black students. These changes led to a reduction in the achievement gap in math and reading.
  2. The accountability effect on the Black-White math test score gap is largest in schools with the fewest poor students.
  3. Schools differ significantly in the percentage of the Black-White math test score gap reduced by the accountability effect based on the percentage of poor students, and white poverty ratio.
  4. Accountability pressure reduces Black-White achievement gaps by raising mean Black achievement without harming mean White achievement.
  5. School-based interventions have the potential to close test score gaps, but differences in school composition and resources play a significant role in the ability of schools to reduce racial inequality.

Scholarship Type Journal Article Empirical Research

Keywords: Achievement Gap, Classroom Composition, Neighborhood, No Child Left Behind, Poverty

Regions South

Methodologies: Quantitative

Research Designs: Secondary Data

Method of Analysis: Difference in Difference Regression, Fixed Effects Regression Models

Sampling Frame: NC public elementary and middle schools

Sample Types: Population

Unit of Analysis: School, Student

Data Types: Quantitative-Panel Data

Data Description: