Gaddis, S. Michael, & Lauen, Douglas Lee
School Accountability and the Black–White Test Score Gap
Pennsylvania State University, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
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?
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Social Science Research
Vol. 44 pp. 15-31
- 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.
- The accountability effect on the Black-White math test score gap is largest in schools with the fewest poor students.
- 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.
- Accountability pressure reduces Black-White achievement gaps by raising mean Black achievement without harming mean White achievement.
- 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.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Achievement Gap, Classroom Composition, Neighborhood, No Child Left Behind, Poverty
Method of Analysis:
Difference in Difference Regression, Fixed Effects Regression Models
NC public elementary and middle schools
Unit of Analysis:
- This study draws on full data from all public schools in North Carolina. The authors use test score and related data from multiple cohorts of students in grades 3-8 in North Carolina between 2001 and 2009. The number of schools this data set varies from 1756 in 2001 to 1891 in 2009.The NCLB variables are one-year lags of Black subgroup-specific accountability pressure variables obtained by the state’s department of public instruction and used to determine Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status.
- Students in grades 3-8 in North Carolina complete math and reading tests at the end of each year. The authors standardize each student’s score by grade and year, create yearly school means by race, and calculate the yearly Black-White test score gap.
- Key IV:
- Accountability pressures (Black subgroups failed- Whether the school’s Black subgroup met the target, failed the target, or was not accountable for the target, post (No Child Left Behind) NCLB, post-NCLB subgroups failed).
- Number of Black students, Number of White Students, Percentage of Poor Students, Black student poverty ratio, White student poverty ratio