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The Black–White Education Scaled Test-Score Gap in Grades K-7

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  • Timothy N. Bond
  • Kevin Lang

Abstract

We measure the black–white achievement gap from kindergarten through seventh grade on an interval scale created by tying each grade–test score combination to average eventual education. After correcting for various sources of test measurement error, some of which are unique to forward-looking scales, we find no racial component in the evolution of the achievement gap through the first eight years of schooling. Further, most, if not all, of the gap can be explained by socioeconomic differences. Our results suggest that the rising racial test gap in previous studies probably reflects excessive measurement error in testing in the early grades.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy N. Bond & Kevin Lang, 2018. "The Black–White Education Scaled Test-Score Gap in Grades K-7," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 53(4), pages 891-917.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:53:y:2018:i:4:p:891-917
    Note: DOI: 10.3368/jhr.53.4.0916-8242R
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Donald Boyd & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2012. "Measuring Test Measurement Error: A General Approach," NBER Working Papers 18010, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Timothy N. Bond & Kevin Lang, 2013. "The Evolution of the Black-White Test Score Gap in Grades K–3: The Fragility of Results," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(5), pages 1468-1479, December.
    3. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2008. "Formulating, Identifying and Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
    4. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman & Susanne M. Schennach, 2010. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(3), pages 883-931, May.
    5. Brian Junker & Lynne Schofield & Lowell Taylor, 2012. "The use of cognitive ability measures as explanatory variables in regression analysis," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-19, December.
    6. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan, 1998. "Kernel Regression in Empirical Microeconomics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 62-87.
    7. 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. Francesco Agostinelli & Matthew Wiswall, 2016. "Identification of Dynamic Latent Factor Models: The Implications of Re-Normalization in a Model of Child Development," NBER Working Papers 22441, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Francesco Agostinelli & Matthew Wiswall, 2016. "Estimating the Technology of Children's Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 22442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Brian Jacob & Jesse Rothstein, 2016. "The Measurement of Student Ability in Modern Assessment Systems," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 85-108, Summer.
    4. Timothy N. Bond & Kevin Lang, 2014. "The Sad Truth About Happiness Scales," NBER Working Papers 19950, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

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