Ready, Douglas D., & Silander, Megan
Estimating the Influence of School Racial and Socioeconomic Composition on Student Learning: Methodological Challenges and Alternative Solutions
Teachers College, Columbia University
How school racial and SES composition influence young children's academic development above and beyond the characteristics of students themselves?
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
American Educational Research Association
New York, March 24--28
- Within- School Models: Initial inequality worsens as children progress through kindergarten and first grade.
- Between School Models: Find no relationship between school minority concentration and children's entering skills in either literacy or math; SES composition appears to be more strongly related to initial ability than school racial/ethnic composition.
- In neighborhoods with high-minority concentration, schools serve an important compensatory role in children's academic development.
- Found equalizing effects of school socio-demographic composition for Black children in kindergarten and low-SES first grades that were not spurious and in fact reflected actual school compositional effects that increased educational equity.
- Children who spend their summer months in disadvantaged contexts are much less likely to develop math skills when school is not in session.
- Study suggest no general influence of high-minority school enrollment on student learning during the school year, above and beyond the characteristics of the students school enroll.
- Low-SES first grades gain more literacy and math skills in higher-SES schools, while Black first grades learn considerably less in literacy in high minority enrollment schools.
Math, Racial Composition, Reading, SES
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K).
- Sample includes 30,368 literacy and 30,368 math test scores nested within 9,186 children, who are nested within 659 public and non-public schools.
- DV: Literature and math assessment
- IV: Child's characteristics (SES status, gender, age, language); school characteristics (school average SES, racial composition, location, class sizes, etc.)
- Includes four assessment dates: initial status, kindergarten years, summer between kindergarten and first grade, and first grade years.