Giersch Jason, Bottia, Martha C., Mickelson, Roslyn A., & Stearns, Elizabeth
Exposure to School and Classroom Racial Segregation in Charlotte-Mecklenburg High Schools and Students College Achievement
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
1. Do the effects of school racial segregation extend into early college outcomes among students graduating from CMS schools and entering the UNC system?
2. Is minority representation in the upper-track classes related to students’ first year college achievement?
3. Do the levels of within-school segregation due to tracking exacerbate the negative effects of attending a segregated Black high school?
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Educational Policy Analysis Archives
Vol. 24 No. 32 Pp. 1-24
Results indicate that segregation at both the high school and the classroom level due to tracking harms academic outcomes in college.
Findings show that segregation among schools and among classes within schools’ compromises college achievement for students of color while offering no significant benefits to White students’ college achievement.
Both Black and White students do better in college if they have not attended Black segregated high schools.
College GPAs of Black freshman are inversely related to the percentage of Black students in their high schools’ advanced-level classes; that is, the more Black students in their high schools’ honors classes, the lower their freshman GPAs in college.
All students who attended a segregated Black high school performed worse in their freshman year of college than they would have if they attended a diverse or segregated White high school (which serves as the reference category). While the effect is statistically significant for both Black and White students, the magnitude of it is twice as strong for Black students (-.242) as it is for White students (-.118).
Findings suggest that attending schools with higher percentages of Black students in upper track classrooms is negatively associated with Black students’ freshman GPA (-.598), but has no significant association with White students’ freshman GPA.
Student in a predominantly Black high school will do better if the advanced classes have fewer Black students. And concentrating Black students in a school or in college-preparatory tracks has damaging effects on their college achievement.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Academic Achievement, College, Race, Racial Composition, Second-generation Segregation, Segregation
Method of Analysis:
Charlotte Mecklenburg school district
Unit of Analysis:
Classroom, School, Student
The dataset comes from the larger Roots of STEM Success Project reflecting the population of 2004 Carolina high school seniors who matriculated into one of the 16 campuses of the University of North Carolina university system.
DV: Student GPA in their first year of college. This was calculated by dividing the total number of quality points by the total number of credit hours attempted in the first year of college.
IV: The independent variables are divided into three categories; student level, public secondary school level and college level variables.
Student level variables included; the main one is student GPA in their first year of college, also included are gender, race (a dummy variable indicating Black versus non-Black), first-generation college student, free or reduced lunch (a measurement of poverty), Pell Grant recipient (a need-based scholarship), and previous academic achievement (a total of the student’s middle school standardized test scores). An additional student-level independent variable is academic track, which is measured by the proportion of state-assessed courses the student took at the honors, Advanced Placement, or International Baccalaureate level.
School level variables include; high school racial segregation (this classifies schools into three categories, including segregated Black schools, diverse schools, and segregated White schools), classroom racial segregation (this measures the proportion of students in advanced math and science classes at the school who are Black) and within school racial segregation (this links the two previous variables).
College level variables include; Competitiveness of the college. This is a three-category measure (highly competitive, competitive, less competitive) based on the average SAT scores and grade point averages (GPAs) of the students in their dataset who attended each of the campuses.