High School Racial Composition: Balancing Excellence and Equity
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Addresses the relationship between school racial composition and educational outcomes.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Paper Presented at the ASA, Chicago, IL, Aug 1999
- The results show that inequality exists between and within schools. Within schools, non-minority students perform better than minority students. Between schools, both minority and non-minority students have different levels of achievement----school factors are influential.
- There is a threshold effect where racial composition is associated with positive student academic achievement until schools have less than 10% minority. Schools that are 10-39% minority have the best equity and excellence (highest mean achievement scores and smallest race-based achievement gap).
- 34-26% of variance in math achievement and 26-28% of variance in reading achievement is between schools. Attending a highly segregated school significantly increases the race based achievement gap in 10th grade math achievement. Being in a highly non-minority school significantly increases the gap in 10th grade reading achievement.
- In the 12th grade, for reading and math, being in a school with less than 16% non-minority students significantly increases the race gap between minority and non-minority students.
Academic Achievement, Achievement Gap, Latinos, Math, Optimal Range for Diversity Threshold, Racial Composition, Reading
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Eight graders in public and private schools
Unit of Analysis:
- Data are from the High School Effectiveness Study (HSES), follow-up of the National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS) 1988 study, a nationally representative probability sample of 8th graders in all public and private schools in the U.S.
- This study uses data from the student, teacher, and administrator questionnaires, as well as student standardized test scores and transcripts.
- The final sample is 6,924 10th graders and 5,139 12th graders in 215 schools.
- Two racial groups are analyzed (non-minority-Whites and Asians; and minority-Blacks and Hispanics).
- ANOVA and HLM are used for analysis.
- DV: Math and reading achievement scores from the 1990 (10th grade) and the 1992 (12th grade) test battery.
- IV: Race, school racial composition (in 7 categories), student level controls (SES, GPA), and school structure (school location and school structure).