Bankston III, Carl, & Caldas, Stephen J.
Majority African American Schools and Social Injustice: The Influence of De Facto Segregation on Academic Achievement
Examines whether the racial composition of schools has an influence on individual achievement, controlling for the race of individuals and other key variables.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Vol. 75, No. 2, pp. 535-555
- Degree of minority concentration has a powerful negative influence on achievement test results and that this influence does not appear to be explained by family SES or individual traits.
- Minority concentration has negative impact over and above individual students' own race.
- Segregation also negatively influences achievement over and above the school SES and prevailing behaviors and habits in schools.
- Both Whites and Blacks are negatively affected by the degree of minority concentration, with Blacks most seriously affected.
- Time spent on homework, interestingly, appears to have no impact on how well students do on this major achievement test.
- Time spent reading has a significant, but weak, positive influence on scores, and time spent watching television has a significant, but weak negative influence.
- Time spent on organized activities has a moderate positive influence, and time spent working has a slightly stronger influence, which is negative.
- Having a low income, as indicated by free lunch status, does have a fairly strong negative effect on GEE scores (-.120), and including this variable does cause the coefficient of minority status to decrease from -.377 to -.313, but minority race continues to be the most powerful predictor of individual outcomes on the achievement test
- Parental SES is the next strongest predictor of test scores, after race.
- Part of the influence of minority race on test scores does seem to be a result of the fact that minority students attend schools with high minority populations: the coefficient of individual race declines from -.313 to -.255. Still, individual minority race continues to exercise a significant, strong influence on achievement test performance, even when we control for racial composition of schools.
- While the time that individual students spend on homework has a relatively small effect, and a negative one, the average amount of time spent on homework by all students has a fairly strong positive influence.
- Evidence suggests that evidence that the negative influence of minority concentration should not be attributed to the lower parental socioeconomic level of schools.
- Of all the factors considered, percentage of African American students in schools is by far the strongest' influence on test scores of African American students, and it is a negative influence.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Academic Achievement, English, Language, Math, Racial Composition, Segregation, White Flight
Method of Analysis:
Black and White tenth graders in Louisiana
Unit of Analysis:
- Students that were in special education programs were not included.
- The data set was provided by the Louisiana Department of Education. The 1990 test scores on the Louisiana GEE (Graduation Exit Examination), a mandated test for all tenth and eleventh grade public high school students in Louisiana, is used as a measure of achievement, the dependent variable.
- Three components of the GEE are taken by tenth graders: math, English language arts, and written composition. The final sample includes 42,041 Black and White tenth graders for whom usable test score data was available.
- IV: School-level data (percent Black; school means of individual level variables) and individual-level data (demographic information and measures of behavioral patterns and habits)
- DV: measure of student achievement on the GEE.