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School Quality and the Black-White Achievement Gap

Author

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  • Eric A. Hanushek
  • Steven G. Rivkin

Abstract

Substantial uncertainty exists about the impact of school quality on the black-white achievement gap. Our results, based on both Texas Schools Project (TSP) administrative data and the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey (ECLS), differ noticeably from other recent analyses of the black-white achievement gap by providing strong evidence that schools have a substantial effect on the differential. The majority of the expansion of the achievement gap with age occurs between rather than within schools, and specific school and peer factors exert a significant effect on the growth in the achievement gap. Unequal distributions of inexperienced teachers and of racial concentrations in schools can explain all of the increased achievement gap between grades 3 and 8. Moreover, non-random sample attrition for school changers and much higher rates of special education classification and grade retention for blacks appears to lead to a significant understatement of the increase in the achievement gap with age within the ECLS and other data sets.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12651 Note: CH ED LS PE HE
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard J. Murnane, 1981. "Teacher Mobility Revisited," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 16(1), pages 3-19.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jacob Vigdor & Jens Ludwig, 2007. "Segregation and the Black-White Test Score Gap," NBER Working Papers 12988, 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. Richard Murphy & Felix Weinhardt, 2014. "Top of the Class: The Importance of Ordinal Rank," CESifo Working Paper Series 4815, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Andrew Leigh & Xiaodong Gong, 2009. "Estimating cognitive gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(2), pages 239-261.
    5. John P. Papay & Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett, 2008. "The Consequences of High School Exit Examinations for Struggling Low-Income Urban Students: Evidence from Massachusetts," NBER Working Papers 14186, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Bethany Everett & David Rehkopf & Richard Rogers, 2013. "The Nonlinear Relationship Between Education and Mortality: An Examination of Cohort, Race/Ethnic, and Gender Differences," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 32(6), pages 893-917, December.
    7. Karachiwalla, Naureen, 2013. "A teacher unlike me: Social distance, learning, and intergenerational mobility in developing countries," MPRA Paper 64439, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 22 May 2015.
    8. 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.
    9. Dionissi Aliprantis & Daniel R. Carroll, 2012. "Neighborhood dynamics and the distribution of opportunity," Working Paper 1212, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, revised 01 Feb 2013.
    10. 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, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    11. Jennifer Montez & Robert Hummer & Mark Hayward, 2012. "Educational Attainment and Adult Mortality in the United States: A Systematic Analysis of Functional Form," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(1), pages 315-336, February.
    12. Peter Arcidiacono & Esteban Aucejo & Ken Spenner, 2012. "What happens after enrollment? An analysis of the time path of racial differences in GPA and major choice," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-24, December.
    13. Richard J. Murnane, 2008. "Educating Urban Children," NBER Working Papers 13791, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Richard Murphy & Felix Weinhardt, 2013. "The Importance of Rank Position," CEP Discussion Papers dp1241, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    15. McDonough, Ian K., 2015. "Dynamics of the black–white gap in academic achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 17-33.
    16. Nielsen, Eric, 2015. "Achievement Gap Estimates and Deviations from Cardinal Comparability," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-40, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    17. Nielsen, Eric, 2015. "The Income-Achievement Gap and Adult Outcome Inequality," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2015-41, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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