Kurlaender, Michal, & Yun, John T.
Measuring School Racial Composition and Student Outcomes in a Multiracial Society
UC Davis; University of California, Santa Barbara
What are the benefits of school desegregation and diversity measured by a nonacademic outcome with social implications (comfort working).
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
American Journal of Education
Vol. 113, No. 2, pp. 213-243
- The idea is to examine the impact of racial diversity and desegregation on minority students' White peers or on students from different racial/ethnic minority groups.
- Evaluate the role of school racial composition in promoting civic and democratic outcomes for all students.
- At higher levels of percent White, the relationship between percent White and comfort decreases.
- All racial groups report higher levels of comfort with people of different racial and ethnic groups than do White students.
- All students in schools with higher levels of percent other race are more positive on the outcome comfort, but this association is different across racial/ethnic groups.
- Students who are in more diverse environments do report greater comfort with their peers from different racial/ethnic groups.
- By using different types of school racial composition measures it is less difficult to understand the relationship between the school environment and a variety of outcomes and to more accurately represent the diversity of impacts that are possible from school compositional factors in a time of rapidly changing school enrollment demographics.
- Results suggest that the greatest amount of benefit to changes in White enrollment can be gained at lower shares of percent White. In fact, having very large White enrollment s may not be necessary for the benefits of desegregated schooling to be realized.
- School-level racial diversity is an important factor for student-level outcomes such as comfort.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Democracy, Intergroup Relations, Labor Market, Long Term Outcomes, Racial Composition
Method of Analysis:
11th grade high school student
Unit of Analysis:
- Diversity Assessment Questionnaire (DAQ) consists of a 70-item student survey.
- Questions about students' future foals, educational aspirations, attitudes, and interests.
- Sample contains approximately 15,800 students from 58 high schools in three large urban school districts.
- Use racial composition in two different ways: 1) using the percentage of White students enrolled at school 2) an interaction between students' individual race and the school-level percent of students from racial groups different from one's own.
- IV: Students' racial/ethnic status, gender, whether they were born in the US, parents' education, and primary language spoken at home; School-level data on school characteristics, including racial composition, percent free and reduced lunch, percent limited English proficient, and percent in special education.
- DV: Comfort variable which summarizes student responses to seven questions about their comfort discussing issues related to race and working in diverse settings with peers from different backgrounds.