Author: Gottfried, Michael

Title: Peer Effects in Urban Schools: Assessing the Impact of Classroom Composition on Student Achievement

University Affiliation: University of California, Santa Barbara


Research Question: This study evaluates the effects of classroom peers on standardized testing achievement for all third- and fourth-grade students in the Philadelphia School District over 6 school years.

Published: Yes

Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation: Educational Policy

Journal Entry: Vol. 28 No. 5 pp.607-647

Year: 2014


  1. Students who have repeated the current grade have a higher reading score in the next academic year whereas being young for the grade has no significant relationship with achievement.
  2. Lagged behavior grades are significant and positive the higher last year’s behavior grade, the higher the next year’s achievement score.
  3. Once being a free lunch student is accounted for (which has a coefficient that is significant and negative), neighborhood characteristics are not statistically significant in determining student achievement. Rather, it is the student’s individual characteristics and school environment that affect achievement outcomes.
  4. The classroom proportion of students receiving free lunch is negative and significantly related to student achievement. The count of students with behavior problems is also negative and significant, indicating that students with behavior problems detract from student achievement. An increase in the number of girls in a classroom raises individual student achievement.
  5. There are significant peer effects in reading and math standardized test achievement, even after holding constant student and neighborhood demographics, and teacher characteristics.

Scholarship Type Journal Article Empirical Research

Keywords: Academic Achievement, Elementary School, Gender, Peer Effects, SES Composition, Urban Schools

Regions North

Methodologies: Quantitative

Research Designs: Secondary Survey Data

Method of Analysis: ANOVA, Logistic Regression

Sampling Frame: 3rd and 4th grade students in Philadelphia

Sample Types: Population

Unit of Analysis: Educator, Neighborhood, School, Student

Data Types: Quantitative

Data Description:


Entry Created at: 2016-06-22 17:35:13 UTC
Last Update: 2017-06-19 21:03:23 UTC