Increasing Racial Isolation and Test Score Gaps in Mathematics
University of Notre Dame
Analyze associations between the Black-White and Latino-White test score gaps and changes in school minority composition.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Teacher College Record
Vol. 112, No. 4, pp. 978-1007
- In 1973, the Latino-White different in NAEP was 0.94 of a SD, narrowing to a 0.69 of a SD in 2004 (a 27 % reduction).
- Between 1972 and 2004 the increases in racial isolation and segregation in U.S. schools corresponded to significant increases in the Black-White and Latino-White test score gaps, outweighting the positive changes in family background measures for these minority groups.
- The increases in Black students' likelihood of being segregated in high-minority school corresponded to a 62.50 percent increase in the Black-White mathematics gap when scaled by the 1972 coefficients and to a 50.57 percent increase when relying on the 2004 coefficients.
- There is an associated increase in the Latino-White test scores by 74 percent if we use the 1972 coefficients as weights and by 76 percent if we rely on the 2004 coefficients.
- Compared with White students, Latino students experienced positive mean changes in family background characteristics, such as parents educational attainment, occupational status, and income.
- Changes in the minority composition of schools, resulting in increased racial isolation for Black and Latino students, were associated with a divergence in the racial-ethnic test score gaps over the past thirty years.
- Although there were some positive changes in social background measures for Black and Latino students relative to Whites, the changes that occurred between schools corresponded to an increase in the racial-ethnic mathematics test score gaps between 1972 and 2004.
- Increases in the minority composition of high schools that Black and Latino students attended between 1972 and 2004 corresponded to a substantial increase in the test score gaps.
- Despite the large gains in the family background measures considered, Black and Latino students' continue to attend schools that are high-minority and low SES. Thus, while a great deal of progress has been made in improving some family background conditions of minority students relative to Whites, substantial inequalities remain.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Academic Achievement, Composition, Math, Racial Composition, SES
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- Analyze 4 cohorts of high school students in the US between 1972, 1982, 1992, and 2004:
- National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972 (NLS-72), 14,469 students in 875 schools.
- High School and Beyond senior cohort of 1982 (HSB-82), 26,000 students.
- National Education Longitudinal Study senior cohort of 1992 (NELS-92), 25,000 eight-grade students in 1,035 schools.
- Educational Longitudinal Study senior cohort of 2004 (ELS-04), 15, 362 students in 752 schools.
- DV: student mathematics achievement between 1972 and 2004.
- IV: individual, family and school predictor variables (minority composition, race-ethnicity, gender, parent's educational attainment, occupational status, family income, socioeconomic composition of school, urban locale), academic tracks were also included.