IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/wly/jpamgt/v28y2009i3p366-393.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Harming the best: How schools affect the black-white achievement gap

Author

Listed:
  • Eric A. Hanushek

    (Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution of Stanford University and Chair of the Executive Committee, Texas Schools Project, University of Texas, Dallas)

  • Steven G. Rivkin

    (Professor of Economics, Amherst College and Director of Research, Texas Schools Project, University of Texas, Dallas)

Abstract

Sizeable achievement differences by race appear in early grades, but substantial uncertainty exists about the impact of school quality on the black-white achievement gap and particularly about its evolution across different parts of the achievement distribution. Texas administrative data show that the overall growth in the achievement gap between third and eighth grades is larger for students with higher initial achievement and that specific teacher and peer characteristics explain a substantial share of the widening. The adverse effect of attending school with a high black enrollment share appears to be an important contributor to the larger growth in the achievement differential in the upper part of the test score distribution. This evidence reaffirms the major role played by peers and school quality, but also presents a policy dilemma. Teacher labor market complications, current housing patterns, legal limits to desegregation efforts, and uncertainty about the overall effects of specific desegregation programs indicate that effective policy responses will almost certainly involve a set of school improvements beyond simple changes in peer racial composition and the teacher experience distribution. © 2009 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:28:y:2009:i:3:p:366-393
    DOI: 10.1002/pam.20437
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/pam.20437
    File Function: Link to full text; subscription required
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1002/pam.20437?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Steven G. Rivkin & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain, 2005. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 417-458, March.
    2. Hanushek, Eric A. & Kain, John F. & Rivkin, Steven G. & Branch, Gregory F., 2007. "Charter school quality and parental decision making with school choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 823-848, June.
    3. 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.
    4. Neal, Derek, 2006. "Why Has Black-White Skill Convergence Stopped?," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & F. Welch (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 511-576, Elsevier.
    5. Clotfelter, Charles & Glennie, Elizabeth & Ladd, Helen & Vigdor, Jacob, 2008. "Would higher salaries keep teachers in high-poverty schools? Evidence from a policy intervention in North Carolina," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1352-1370, June.
    6. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2002. "Inferring Program Effects for Special Populations: Does Special Education Raise Achievement for Students with Disabilities?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 584-599, November.
    7. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin & Daniel M. O'Brien, 2005. "The Market for Teacher Quality," Discussion Papers 04-025, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    8. Eric A. Hanushek & Margaret E. Raymond, 2005. "Does school accountability lead to improved student performance?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(2), pages 297-327.
    9. Joshua D. Angrist & Kevin Lang, 2004. "Does School Integration Generate Peer Effects? Evidence from Boston's Metco Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1613-1634, December.
    10. Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 115-136, Summer.
    11. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2008. "The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(3), pages 607-668, September.
    12. Kane, Thomas J. & Rockoff, Jonah E. & Staiger, Douglas O., 2008. "What does certification tell us about teacher effectiveness? Evidence from New York City," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 615-631, December.
    13. Jonathan Guryan, 2004. "Desegregation and Black Dropout Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 919-943, September.
    14. 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.
    15. Neal, Derek A & Johnson, William R, 1996. "The Role of Premarket Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 869-895, October.
    16. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2003. "On The Specification and Estimation of The Production Function for Cognitive Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages 3-33, February.
    17. Eric A. Hanushek, 2001. "Black-White Achievement Differences and Governmental Interventions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 24-28, May.
    18. Donald Boyd & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2005. "The draw of home: How teachers' preferences for proximity disadvantage urban schools," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(1), pages 113-132.
    19. Thomas S. Dee, 2004. "Teachers, Race, and Student Achievement in a Randomized Experiment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 195-210, February.
    20. Donald Boyd & Pamela Grossman & Hamilton Lankford & Susanna Loeb & James Wyckoff, 2006. "How Changes in Entry Requirements Alter the Teacher Workforce and Affect Student Achievement," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 1(2), pages 176-216, April.
    21. Jonah E. Rockoff, 2004. "The Impact of Individual Teachers on Student Achievement: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 247-252, May.
    22. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Robert Bifulco & Helen F. Ladd, 2007. "School choice, racial segregation, and test-score gaps: Evidence from North Carolina's charter school program*," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(1), pages 31-56.
    24. O'Neill, June, 1990. "The Role of Human Capital in Earnings Differences between Black and White Men," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 25-45, Fall.
    25. Ehrenberg, Ronald G. & Brewer, Dominic J., 1995. "Did teachers' verbal ability and race matter in the 1960s? Coleman revisited," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 1-21, March.
    26. 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.
    27. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren & David Sims, 2008. "The Persistence of Teacher-Induced Learning Gains," NBER Working Papers 14065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    28. Hanushek, Eric A. & Kain, John F. & Rivkin, Steven G., 2004. "Disruption versus Tiebout improvement: the costs and benefits of switching schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1721-1746, August.
    29. 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.
    30. David Austen-Smith & Roland G. Fryer, 2005. "An Economic Analysis of "Acting White"," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 551-583.
    31. Samuel Bowles & Henry M. Levin, 1968. "The Determinants of Scholastic Achievement-An Appraisal of Some Recent Evidence," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 3(1), pages 3-24.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Roland G. Fryer, Jr, 2010. "Racial Inequality in the 21st Century: The Declining Significance of Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 16256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education,, Elsevier.
    3. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan & Matthieu Verstraete, 2008. "The Effects of School Quality and Family Functioning on Youth Math Scores: a Canadian Longitudinal Analysis," Cahiers de recherche 0822, CIRPEE.
    4. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2009. "New Evidence about Brown v. Board of Education: The Complex Effects of School Racial Composition on Achievement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(3), pages 349-383, July.
    5. Kang, Changhui, 2007. "Classroom peer effects and academic achievement: Quasi-randomization evidence from South Korea," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 458-495, May.
    6. Scott E. Carrell & James E. West, 2010. "Does Professor Quality Matter? Evidence from Random Assignment of Students to Professors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(3), pages 409-432, June.
    7. Hanushek, Eric A. & Kain, John F. & Rivkin, Steven G. & Branch, Gregory F., 2007. "Charter school quality and parental decision making with school choice," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(5-6), pages 823-848, June.
    8. Richard Murphy & Felix Weinhardt, 2020. "Top of the Class: The Importance of Ordinal Rank," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(6), pages 2777-2826.
    9. 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.
    10. Marine de Talancé, 2015. "Better Teachers, Better Results? Evidence from Rural Pakistan," Working Papers DT/2015/21, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    11. Wiswall, Matthew, 2013. "The dynamics of teacher quality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 61-78.
    12. Simon Burgess & Deborah Wilson & Adam Briggs & Anete Piebalga, 2008. "Segregation and the Attainment of Minority Ethnic Pupils in England," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 08/204, The Centre for Market and Public Organisation, University of Bristol, UK.
    13. Jacob Vigdor & Jens Ludwig, 2007. "Segregation and the Black-White Test Score Gap," NBER Working Papers 12988, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Jennifer King Rice, 2013. "Learning from Experience? Evidence on the Impact and Distribution of Teacher Experience and the Implications for Teacher Policy," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 8(3), pages 332-348, July.
    15. Feng, Li & Sass, Tim R., 2013. "What makes special-education teachers special? Teacher training and achievement of students with disabilities," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 122-134.
    16. Eric Hanushek & Steven Rivkin, 2010. "Constrained Job Matching: Does Teacher Job Search Harm Disadvantaged Urban Schools?," Discussion Papers 09-011, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    17. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin & Daniel M. O'Brien, 2005. "The Market for Teacher Quality," Discussion Papers 04-025, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    18. Roland G. Fryer, Jr. & Paul Torelli, 2005. "An Empirical Analysis of 'Acting White'," NBER Working Papers 11334, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. McDonough, Ian K., 2015. "Dynamics of the black–white gap in academic achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 17-33.
    20. Helen F. Ladd & Lucy C. Sorensen, 2017. "Returns to Teacher Experience: Student Achievement and Motivation in Middle School," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 12(2), pages 241-279, Spring.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:28:y:2009:i:3:p:366-393. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/34787/home .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Wiley Content Delivery (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/34787/home .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.