The Effect of School Poverty on Racial Gaps in Test Scores: The Case of the Minnesota Basic Standards Tests
Journal of Negro Education, Vol. 73, No. 1 (Winter, 2004), pp. 81-98
19 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2013
Date Written: 2004
Using data from 1996, 1998, and 1999 Minnesota comprehensive statewide testing of eighth graders, we examine whether Black students perform worse than White students because Blacks re more likely to attend high-poverty schools. We find the impacts of school poverty on Black students' test scores are miniscule. The results decompose aggregate racial gaps in test scores between portions due to unequal endowments - including differences in school poverty rates-and unequal impacts that these endowments have on test scores. Ultimately, school poverty or other characteristics of students, their schools or the programs in which they participate explain little of the test score gap. We conclude that much of the Black-White test score gap can be attributed to racial differences in treatment.
Keywords: racial inequality, racial gaps in test scores, Minnesota Basic Standards Tests, schools, Black students' test scores
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