Hanushek, Eric A., & Rivkin, Steven
Harming the Best: How Schools Affect the Black-White Achievement Gap
Study the impact of school quality on the B-W achievement gap & particularly its evolution across different parts of the achievement distribution.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
National Bureau of Economic Research
Working Paper 14211
- The overall growth in the achievement gap between third and eight grade is higher for students with higher initial achievement and that specific teacher and peer characteristics including teacher experience and peer racial composition explain a substantial share of the widening.
- The achievement gap increase across grades is larger for Blacks with higher initial achievement, and that is due primarily to stronger deleterious effects for initially high achieving Blacks of attending schools with a high Black enrollment share.
- Both the growth in the achievement gap and the effects of specific variables differ significantly by position in the achievement distribution at entry to elementary school with the largest adverse impacts on Blacks who enter the best prepared.
- Race differences in school proportion Black and teacher experience explain between 25 and 50 percent of the growth in the achievement gap between grades four and eight. School proportion Black has a much larger impact than does teacher experience for all groups, though it is important to recognize that unmeasured differences in teacher quality may be important as well.
- The Black-White achievement gap appears to increase, not decrease, with schooling. The observed gap grows most for Blacks who start out at higher achievement levels.
Academic Achievement, Achievement Gap, Elementary School, Math, Middle School, Racial Composition
Method of Analysis:
Fixed Effects Regression Models
Public Elemantary and MS students in Texas
Unit of Analysis:
- The UTD Texas School Project (TSP)
- DV: Math achievement
- IV: Teacher experience, school proportion Black, class size, proportion of students who are Hispanic