Rumberger, Russell W., & Willms, Douglas
The Impact of Racial and Ethnic Segregation on the Achievement Gap in California High Schools
UC Santa Barbara
Examines the extent and impact of racial and ethnic segregation in CA HS during the 1988-1989 school years.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis
Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 377-396
- Racial and ethnic segregation in is widespread in CA, and that the extent of segregation varies widely among ethnic groups and among the six largest school districts.
- White students had the least exposure to members of other groups because they attended schools that were predominantly White.
- Find significant differences in achievement levels across and within school districts even after adjusting for differences in the background characteristics of students.
- Segregation can, but does not always, lead to achievement differences across schools and among ethnic groups.
- In most cases, controlling for school context had little effect on minority achievement gap. The negative achievement gap between Whites and minorities remained.
- Results suggest that students, in general, achievement better results when they attend a school with higher average parental background. Because minority status are less likely to attend schools with favorable school contexts, they are less likely to attend schools with favorable school contexts, they are less able to capitalize on contextual effects.
- Reforms that both alter the social composition of schools and redistribute resources may be the most successful.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Academic Achievement, Ethnicity, High School, Math, Racial Composition, Reading, Segregation
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
California HS/ HS in 6 largest districts in CA
Unit of Analysis:
- Two types of data were used in this study: data on schools and school districts and data on students.
- Data on schools came from the California Basic Educational Data System (CBEDS). Used the 1988-1989 CBEDS data to analyze segregation and its impact on achievement in all regular high schools in the state (784) and in all high schools in the six largest districts in the state: Los Angeles, San Diego City, San Francisco, East Side Union, Kern Union, and Grossmont Union HS District.
- Data on students came from the California Assessment Program (CAP). Achievement tests in grades 3,6,8, and 12.
- Usable data were available for 198, 127 12 th-grade students, or 82% if all 12th-grade students that were identified in the October CBEDS data.
- Segregation measure was created with the CBDES data on ethnic enrollment by school and school district.
- Concentrated analysis on 4 ethnic groups- Asians, Blacks, Hispanic, and Whites.
- DV: Student achievement (standardized measures of the CAP scores on reading and CAP scores on mathematics)
- IV: Student level variables (ethnicity, gender, limited English proficient, "transient" (enter HS after 10th grade), parental education) and school level variables (contextual variables (mean parental education and the % of White students in school) & resource level variables (description of teaching staff, student-teacher ratio) & Segregation measures (dissimilarity index and isolation index).