Palardy, Gregory J.
Differential School Effects Among Low, Middle, and High Social Class Composition Schools: A Multiple Group, Multilevel Latent Growth Curve Analysis
University of California, Riverside
Examine differential school effects between low, middle, and high social class composition public schools.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
School Effectiveness and School Improvement
Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 21-49
- Student learning in low social class schools is far more sensitive to school factors than in middle and high social class schools.
- Widespread differences in the characteristics of schools across the subpopulations, which consistently challenge the educational milieu in low social class schools, likely contribute to differential school effects, as well as to the disparity in learning rates.
- Students attending low social class composition schools learned less over 4-year high school period (6.71) than students at middle (7.52) and high social class schools (9.01).
- Asian students benefit more from attending high social class schools compared with White students.
- Black students attending low social class schools, on the other hand, had significantly lower learning rates than Whites, but no differences existed in middle or high social class schools, which implies that a low social class composition environment is more harmful for Black compared with White students.
- On the whole, the background characteristics students bring to school have a similar impact on learning, regardless of the social class composition of the school.
- School level variables explained more than double the percentage of the variance in mean learning rates in the low social class composition subpopulation (54%) compared with the middle (23%) and more than three times compared with the high (17%).
- The associations between school inputs and learning's as well as between school practices and learning differ significantly across social class composition subpopulations.
- Even after adjusting for a large number of student characteristics and school inputs and practices, the mean learning rate at HS class composition school is 30% higher than at low social class composition schools.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Composition, High School, Math, Reading, SES Composition, Science, Social Studies
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
8th graders in Public Schools
Unit of Analysis:
Classroom, School, Student
- Uses NELS 1988 to examine whether the social class composition of schools, which is defined as the average socioeconomic status of the student body, moderated the association between student and school factors, and student learning.
- Final sample included data from 5,326 student nested in 344 schools.
- Study focuses on public Schools.
- Study includes Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American.
- Public High Schools were divided into three groups -low, middle, and high social class composition schools- based on the mean SES of the students attending.
- - DV: students' achievmeent growth or learning rate on a composite score of four acadmeic subjects- math, reading, science, and history- over a 4 year periodwhen most sutdents were attending high school.
- - IV: students' backgrounds (demogrpahic, family background, and academic background), school and classroom level variables (categorized into three classes: inputs, process, and outputs. School inputs include compositional characteristics of the student body, the structural characteristics of the school (urbanicity and school size), and the human and financial resources available.