The Color Line in American Education: Race, Resources, and Student Achievement
Outline current disparities in educational access and illustrate relationships among race, educational resources, and student achievement.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Du Bois Review
Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 213-246
- The US educational system is one of the most unequal in the industrialized world, and students routinely receive dramatically different learning opportunities based on their social status.
- The disparities in resources are largely a function of how public education in the US is funded, and translate into real differences in services provided in schools: higher spending districts have smaller classes, higher paid and more experienced teachers, and greater instructional resources, as well as better facilities, and a wider range of course offerings.
- Schools with high concentrations of "minority" students also receive fewer resources than other schools within these districts. And then the tracking systems exacerbate those differences even more by segregating "minority" students within schools.
- Less qualified teachers are found disproportionately in schools serving greater numbers of low-income or minority students.
- The proportion of teachers who are fully certified has been found to be the most important predictor of school level student achievement in mathematics and reading, along with teacher experience.
- Another source of inequality is that high-minority schools are much less likely to offer advanced and college preparatory courses in mathematics and science than are schools that serve affluent and largely White populations of students.
- Teacher interaction with students in lower track classes is less motivating and less supportive, as well as less demanding of higher order reasoning and responses.
- Recent studies have provided evidence that money does make a difference, especially for students of color and especially when it is used to purchase the key resources of well-qualified staff and the curriculum they can offer.
- More equitable allocations of school resources could substantially reduce the failure rates of students of color and low-income students on the high-stakes measures states have chosen to hold students and schools accountable for their performance.
- Creating a "thinking" curriculum for all students is important to individual futures and our national welfare.
Journal Article Review of Literature
Academic Achievement, Funding, Math, Reading, Teachers, Tracking
Literature Review, Policy Analysis
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- Coleman (1966)
- Hanusheck (2003)
- Ferguson (1991)
- Drueger (2000)
- Betts et al (2000)
- Goe (2002)
- Strauss and Sawyer (1986)