Mickelson, Roslyn A.
How Middle School Segregation Contributes to the Race Gap in Academic Achievement
Studies the effects of school racial composition on the academic outcomes of middle school students
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
- The study finds that segregation has a direct negative effect on math and reading scores.
- With controls for family-level and student-level variables, attending racially isolated minority elementary schools depresses 8th grade math and reading scores for Black and White students.
- A greater concentration of minority students in a middle school depresses reading scores, net of other school, family and individual-level factors.
- Track placement affects academic achievement. The higher the track, the better students perform. Family background and race influence track placement.
- Elementary school segregation directly and negatively affects track placement
- Black students are rarely placed in higher tracks and are disproportionately represented in lower tracks, regardless of the racial composition of the school
Academic Achievement, Achievement Gap, Desegregation, Math, Middle School, Reading, Resegregation, Segregation, Tracking
Interviews, Secondary Survey Data, Survey
Method of Analysis:
Charlotte Mecklenburg School District
Unit of Analysis:
- The study takes a random sample of 1996-1997 8th grade English classes, stratified by track. Every middle school in the CMS district is included. Total of 2,730 students in the sample. One class from each of 3 track levels at each school is analyzed. Only Black and White students are analyzed.
- Survey data collected in 1997 measures demographic data, student educational attitudes and aspirations, family background, achievement, effort, schools attended. CMS district records- school-level data. Additional data are taken from aggregate school system data and in-depth interviews with educators, parents, and civic leaders; CMS documents and reports; expert witness reports from desegregation trial; interviews with principals, administrators, and school board members.
- DV: 8th grade EOG math and reading standardized test scores and track placement (regular, AG, or pre-IB).
- IV: Track placement, race, gender, family background, cultural capital, effort, prior achievement, abstract attitudes toward educaion, concrete attitudes toward education, proportion of elementary education in a segregated African American school, middle school percent minority concentration, percent new to the profession, tenure, license, percentage of teachers in a school who had a MA as of 1997.