Jencks, Christopher, & Brown, Marsha
The Effects of Desegregation on Student Achievement: Some New Evidence from the Equality of Educational Opportunity Survey
Examine patterns of change in achievement between first and sixth graders and between ninth and twelfth graders in desegregated schools
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Sociology of Education
Vol. 48, No. 1, pp. 126-140
- Racially mixed elementary schools improved achievement for Blacks and Whites if non-Whites were a large minority (about 25%), but Black achievement was depressed if non-Whites were a small minority.
- The high school racial composition did not have much effect on test scores either way.
- The lesser impact of racial mix at the high school level, compared to elementary school, is consistent with other studies.
- In general, Blacks gain more than whites in schools that are 0-75 percent White. Whites gain more than Blacks in schools that are 76-90 percent White.
- Whites, like Blacks, improve most in schools that are 51-75 percent White. Their improvement seems less marked, however, if one estimates initial ability using the first grade verbal test rather than the nonverbal test.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Academic Achievement, Desegregation, Racial Composition
Method of Analysis:
Elementary School Students
Unit of Analysis:
- The data are from the 1965 Equality of Educational Opportunity Survey (EEOS). The sample includes 359 elementary schools in the North, most located in SMSA's of 50,000 or more people. These schools provided data for first and sixth graders. The first grade students were given two tests (non-verbal and verbal), and four tests were given to the sixth graders (non-verbal, verbal, math, and reading). The first grade teachers reported race information for the students (61% White, 29% Black, and 10% other races). The sixth graders self-reported their racial categories (65% White, 23% Black, and 12% other). 154 high schools in Northern metropolitan areas were included. Five tests were given to ninth and twelfth graders (verbal, non-verbal, reading composition, math, and general information). This study compares first and sixth graders in the same elementary school and ninth and twelfth graders in the same high school. The analysis assumes that sixth graders in 1965 had the same initial achievement scores in first grade as the first graders in 1965. The same is done for the secondary school analysis.
- DV: Achievement test scores, change in test scores
- IV: School racial composition (self-reported)