Entwisle, Doris, & Alexander, Karl
Winter Setback: The Racial Composition of Schools and Learning to Read
Johns Hopkins University
How the racial composition of schools affects children's cognitive growth during the first two years of school for youngsters in the BSS.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
American Sociological Review
Vol. 59, No. 3, pp. 446-460
- African-Americans in integrated schools made less progress in reading comprehension in winter when school was in session than did their counterparts in segregated schools. In summers, however, when they were not in school the African-American children who attended integrated schools gained considerably more than their counterparts who attended segregated schools.
- It is more likely that acquisitions of reading skills is harder for youngsters of both races in integrated schools because their language backgrounds differ.
- It is important to keep in mind that leaning while school is in session ("winter learning") reflects the influences of both home and school; "summer learning" reflects mainly the influence of the children's environments outside school.
- The pattern of seasonal gains suggests that youngsters with better educated (and more affluent) parents enjoy a reading gain advantage over summer but not during winter.
- Students in integrated schools, especially the African-American students progress in winter (when schools are open) at a slower pace than would be expected.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Racial Composition, Reading
Method of Analysis:
20 Schools in Baltimore
Unit of Analysis:
- Cognitive measure is measured by IQ tests.
- Data from the Beginning School Study (BSS) that was initiated in the fall of 1982 in Baltimore City. It consists of a stratified random sampling of 20 schools in the city.
- Sample is "core sample" of children from the BBS -children who stayed in the original 20 schools over the first 24 months of the study and for who data are reasonably complete.
- Data about the child's home life were acquired through interviews .
- Child's achievement scores came from school records.
- Used Seasonal MANOVAS
- DV: Children's score on the reading comprehension subtest of the California Achievement Test.
- IV: School racial composition