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The Evolution of the Black-White Test Score Gap in Grades K–3: The Fragility of Results

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  • Timothy N. Bond

    (Purdue University)

  • Kevin Lang

    (Boston University)

Abstract

Although both economists and psychometricians typically treat them as interval scales, test scores are reported using ordinal scales. Using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS-K) and the Children of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (CNLSY), we examine how order-preserving scale transformations affect the evolution of the black-white reading test score gap from kindergarten entry through third grade. Plausible transformations reverse the growth of the gap in the CNLSY and greatly reduce it in the ECLS-K during the early school years. All growth from entry through first grade and a nontrivial proportion from first to third grade probably reflects scaling decisions. © 2013 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2013)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1468-1479

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:95:y:2013:i:5:p:1468-1479

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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Related research

Keywords: test scores; test score gaps; Children of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth; Early Childhood Longitudinal Study;

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References

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  1. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman & Susanne M. Schennach, 2010. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 78(3), pages 883-931, 05.
  2. Roland G. Fryer, Jr, 2010. "The Importance of Segregation, Discrimination, Peer Dynamics, and Identity in Explaining Trends in the Racial Achievement Gap," NBER Working Papers 16257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Eric A. Hanushek & Steven G. Rivkin, 2006. "School Quality and the Black-White Achievement Gap," NBER Working Papers 12651, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Moshe Justman & Brendan Houng, 2013. "A Comparison Of Two Methods For Estimating School Effects And Tracking Student Progress From Standardized Test Scores," Working Papers, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics 1316, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
  2. Timothy N. Bond & Kevin Lang, 2014. "The Sad Truth About Happiness Scales," NBER Working Papers 19950, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Brendan Houng & Moshe Justman, 2013. "Comparing Least-Squares Value-Added Analysis and Student Growth Percentile Analysis for Evaluating Student Progress and Estimating School Effects," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne wp2013n07, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  4. Elizabeth U. Cascio & Douglas O. Staiger, 2012. "Knowledge, Tests, and Fadeout in Educational Interventions," NBER Working Papers 18038, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Timothy N. Bond & Kevin Lang, 2013. "The Black-White Education-Scaled Test-Score Gap in Grades K-7," NBER Working Papers 19243, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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