Hanushek, Eric, Kain, John, & Rivkin, Steven
New Evidence about Brown v. Board of Education: The Complex Effects of School Racial Composition on Achievement
Examines how school racial composition affects scholastic achievement and, thus, the black-white achievement gap.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Journal of Labor Economics
Vol. 27, No. 3, pp. 349-383
- A higher percentage of Black schoolmates reduces achievement for Blacks, particularly those with higher initial achievement, while the coefficients for Whites are typically much smaller and not significant at conventional levels.
- Racial composition appears to explain a meaningful portion of the racial achievement gap in Texas.
- Evidence indicates that racial composition does not serve as a proxy either for peer academic achievement or for unmeasured school quality.
- The proportion Hispanic does not have a significant impact on either Black or White student achievement and does not affect the magnitude of the proportion black coefficient, confirming that it is the black concentration and not the minority concentration in a school that matters.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Academic Achievement, Brown vs Board of Education, Math, Peer Effects, Racial Composition
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Texas public elementary schools
Unit of Analysis:
- Uses the stacked panel data set of school operations constructed by the UTD Texas School Project.
- Only Black and White students are included in the achievement analysis, although all students are used in the calculations of peer characteristics.
- Use results for mathematics of the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS).
- Uses student, family, school and peer factors to explain achievement.
- Due to the characteristics of the database students who switch schools can be followed as long as they remain in a Texas public school.
- Tries through the methodology to overcome the difficulty of isolating exogenous variation in racial composition.
- DV: Math achievement test score
- IV: Classroom racial composition (proportion Black, proportion White), teacher experience, class size, peer achievement Control Variables: Student-specific heterogeneity