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

39 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2013

See all articles by Timothy Bond

Timothy Bond

Purdue University - Department of Economics

Kevin Lang

Boston University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: July 2013

Abstract

We address the ordinality of test scores by rescaling them by the average eventual educational attainment of students with a given test score in a given grade. We show that measurement error in test scores causes this approach to underestimate the black-white test score gap and use an instrumental variables procedure to adjust the gap. While the unadjusted gap grows rapidly in the early school years, particularly in reading, after correction for measurement error, the education-scaled gap is large, exceeds the actual black-white education gap and is roughly constant. Strikingly, the gap in all grades is largely explained by a small number of measures of socioeconomic background. We discuss the interpretation of scales tied to adult outcomes.

Suggested Citation

Bond, Timothy and Lang, Kevin, The Black-White Education-Scaled Test-Score Gap in Grades K-7 (July 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w19243, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2295857

Timothy Bond (Contact Author)

Purdue University - Department of Economics ( email )

West Lafayette, IN 47907-1310
United States

Kevin Lang

Boston University - Department of Economics ( email )

270 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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