Riegle-Crumb, Catherine, & Grodsky, Eric
Racial-Ethnic Differences at the Intersection of Math Course-Taking and Achievement
University of Texas - Austin; University of Minnesota
The roles of family SES and school composition in explaining why the math achievement gap is most pronounced among those students who take the most demanding HS math classes, especially among low-income Hispanic and segregated Black youth.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Sociology of Education
Vol. 83, Number 3, pp. 248-270
- Math achievement gap, particularly for African American and White students, is most pronounced among students completing the most demanding courses.
- Among those students reaching the advanced math high school stratum, Hispanic youth from low-income families and African American youth from segregated schools fare the worst in terms of closing the achievement gap with their white peers.
- Some evidence that differences in levels of income and parental education contribute more to the Hispanic/white test gap in the advanced math stratum than among those in the nonadvanced stratum.
- Minority parents appear just as effective as white parents in translating the advantages of high levels of social class to their children's achievement in advanced math classes, if not more so, refuting prior studies.
- School segregation contributes to racial/ethnic differences in math achievement for African America students enrolled in advanced math courses.
- Minority students in advanced classes fall further behind the achievement of their White peers than students completing only lower level classes; also, being in advanced classes improves math achievement for all students.
- The effects of social origin and school composition on students' learning between 10th and 12th grade are relatively modest.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Ethnicity, Math, Race, Segregation, Social Class
Method of Analysis:
Public High Schools
Unit of Analysis:
Classroom, School, Student
- Nationally representative sample of White, Black, and Hispanic students who were a) high school sophomores in 2002 and b) participated in the Educational Longitudinal Survey (ELS).
- Sample restricted to those in public schools and further restricted to students who had complete transcript information during the latter two years of high school.
- DV: Student's senior year math achievement test score, scaled as the number of items the student would have answered correctly had they taken the completely mathematics test (based on student's IRT score).
- IV: Include indicators for both parental education and family income. Include measure of the percentage of student body that is either African American or Hispanic to measure effects of school segregation.