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The Academic Achievement Gap in Grades 3 to 8

Author

Listed:
  • Charles T. Clotfelter

    (Duke University)

  • Helen F. Ladd

    (Duke University)

  • Jacob L. Vigdor

    (Duke University)

Abstract

Using data for North Carolina public school students in grades 3 to 8, we examine achievement gaps between white students and students from other racial and ethnic groups. We focus on cohorts of students who stay in the state's public schools for all six years. While the black-white gaps are sizable and robust, both Hispanic and Asian students tend to gain on whites as they progress in school. Beyond simple mean differences, we find that the racial gaps in math between low-performing students have tended to shrink as students progress through school, while those for high-performing students have generally widened. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2009. "The Academic Achievement Gap in Grades 3 to 8," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(2), pages 398-419, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:91:y:2009:i:2:p:398-419
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Deborah Wilson & Simon Burgess & Adam Briggs, 2011. "The dynamics of school attainment of England’s ethnic minorities," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(2), pages 681-700, April.
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    3. repec:pri:cepsud:108krueger is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2006. "The Black-White Test Score Gap Through Third Grade," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 249-281.
    5. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2006. "Teacher-Student Matching and the Assessment of Teacher Effectiveness," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(4).
    6. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "Understanding the Black-White Test Score Gap in the First Two Years of School," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 447-464, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ha Trong Nguyen & Luke B. Connelly & Huong Thu Le & Francis Mitrou & Catherine L. Taylor & Stephen R. Zubrick, 2020. "Ethnicity differentials in academic achievements: the role of time investments," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(4), pages 1381-1418, October.
    2. Gigliotti, Philip & Sorensen, Lucy C., 2018. "Educational resources and student achievement: Evidence from the Save Harmless provision in New York State," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 167-182.
    3. David Madden, 2018. "Bridging the gaps: inequalities in children’s educational outcomes in Ireland," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 16(1), pages 103-122, March.
    4. Hull, Marie C., 2017. "The academic progress of Hispanic immigrants," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 91-110.
    5. David (David Patrick) Madden, 2020. "The Socioeconomic Gradient of Cognitive Test Scores: Evidence from Two Cohorts of Irish Children," Working Papers 202020, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    6. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education,, Elsevier.
    7. Nguyen, Ha Trong & Connelly, Luke & Le, Huong Thu & Mitrou, Francis & Taylor, Catherine & Zubrick, Stephen, 2018. "Explaining the evolution of ethnicity differentials in academic achievements: The role of time investments," MPRA Paper 90534, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Nguyen, Ha Trong & Connelly, Luke & Le, Huong Thu & Mitrou, Francis & Taylor, Catherine L. & Zubrick, Stephen R., 2019. "Sources of ethnicity differences in non-cognitive development in children and adolescents," EconStor Preprints 205801, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    9. Wong, Maisy, 2014. "Estimating the distortionary effects of ethnic quotas in Singapore using housing transactions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 131-145.
    10. Eric A. Hanushek & Steven G. Rivkin, 2009. "Harming the best: How schools affect the black-white achievement gap," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(3), pages 366-393.
    11. Richard J. Murnane, 2013. "U.S. High School Graduation Rates: Patterns and Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(2), pages 370-422, June.
    12. Maggie Jones & Michael Barber, 2019. "Inequalities in Test Scores between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Youth in Canada," Department Discussion Papers 1904, Department of Economics, University of Victoria.
    13. Francisco Azpitarte & Abraham Chigavazira & Guyonne Kalb & Brad M. Farrant & Francisco Perales & Stephen R. Zubrick, 2019. "Childcare Use and Its Role in Indigenous Child Development: Evidence from the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 95(308), pages 1-33, March.
    14. LUIS LOCAY & TRACY L. REGAN & ARTHUR M. DIAMOND Jr, 2013. "The Effects Of Spanish-Language Background On Completed Schooling And Aptitude Test Scores," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 527-562, January.
    15. Claudia Persico & David Figlio & Jeffrey Roth, 2016. "Inequality Before Birth: The Developmental Consequences of Environmental Toxicants," NBER Working Papers 22263, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Ha Trong Nguyen & Luke B. Connelly & Huong Thu Le & Francis Mitrou & Catherine L. Taylor & Stephen R. Zubrick, 0. "Ethnicity differentials in academic achievements: the role of time investments," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 0, pages 1-38.
    17. Umut Özek & David N. Figlio, 2016. "Cross-Generational Differences in Educational Outcomes in the Second Great Wave of Immigration," NBER Working Papers 22262, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Cook, Philip J. & Kang, Songman, 2020. "Girls to the front: How redshirting and test-score gaps are affected by a change in the school-entry cut date," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).
    19. Ronald Fernandes & Inhyuck Steve Ha & Susan Williams McElroy & Samuel L. Myers, 2016. "Black-White Disparities in Test Scores: Distributional Characteristics," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 43(2), pages 209-232, June.
    20. Hynsjö, Disa & Damon, Amy, 2016. "Bilingual education in Peru: Evidence on how Quechua-medium education affects indigenous children's academic achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 116-132.
    21. Julie Berry Cullen & Steven D. Levitt & Erin Robertson & Sally Sadoff, 2013. "What Can Be Done to Improve Struggling High Schools?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 133-152, Spring.
    22. McDonough, Ian K., 2015. "Dynamics of the black–white gap in academic achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 17-33.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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