Southworth, Stephanie, & Mickelson, Roslyn A.
The Interactive Effects of Race, Gender and School Composition on College Track Placement
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
How organizational features of high schools interact with students' ascriptive characteristics to shape opportunities to learn.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Vol. 86, No. 2, pp. 497-523
- School racial composition has significant effects on the track placement of different race-gender cohorts, and that schools' racial compositions interact with students' ascriptive characteristics in these processes.
- Net of prior achievement, track placements are influenced by individual and family characteristics in these processes.
- Students who attend racially diverse or white schools are more likely to be taught by qualified teachers, to experience a rigorous academic climate, to have peers who expect to attend college, and to have adequate access to material resources than students in segregated minority schools. Conversely, students who attend segregated minority schools are likely to have fewer qualified teachers, weaker academic climates, more poor non-English speaking and homeless peers, fewer gifted classmates and fewer options to enroll in college preparatory courses than peers at racially balanced schools.
- Racially balanced schools are more inclusive and thus they offer greater equality of educational opportunity for students from all backgrounds.
- Tracking continues to reflect enduring patterns of social inequality in American society.
Journal Article Empirical Research
English, Racial Composition, Second-generation Segregation, Segregation, Tracking
Method of Analysis:
Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District
Unit of Analysis:
- This study focuses on secondary track placement.
- Questions to answer:
- 1) Do race and gender affect the likelihood of students' placement in college bound tracks
- 2) Does a school's racial composition affect the likelihood of higher track placement of students from different gender-by-race cohorts?
- Survey data from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools collected in 1997, which measures school and classroom level racial composition in addition to a variety of student, teacher and school characteristics.
- DV: Track placement in English
- IV: gender-by-race cohort, socioeconomic status, GPA, Prior Achievement, Percent Segregated Elementary Education, College-bound Peers, School Racial Composition.
- Data were obtained from 1833 high school students. Only data from Black and White students were analyzed. 1334 student remained in the sample (31.8% White males, 32.8% White females, 15.4% Black males , and 20% Black females).