The Geography of Racial/Ethnic Test Score Gaps

96 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2017

See all articles by Sean Reardon

Sean Reardon

Stanford University

Demetra Kalogrides

Stanford University

Kenneth Shores

Pennsylvania State University

Date Written: January 4, 2017

Abstract

We estimate racial/ethnic achievement gaps in several hundred metropolitan areas and several thousand school districts in the United States using the results of roughly 200 million standardized math and reading tests administered to public school students from 2009-2013. We show that achievement gaps vary substantially, ranging from nearly 0 in some places to larger than 1.2 standard deviations in others. Economic, demographic, segregation and schooling characteristics explain roughly three-quarters of the geographic variation in these gaps. The strongest correlates of achievement gaps are local racial/ethnic differences in parental income, local average parental education levels, and patterns of racial/ethnic segregation, consistent with a theoretical model in which family socioeconomic factors affect educational opportunity partly though residential and school segregation patterns.

Keywords: Achievement Gaps, Segregation, Socioeconomic Inequality

JEL Classification: I24

Suggested Citation

Reardon, Sean and Kalogrides, Demetra and Shores, Kenneth, The Geography of Racial/Ethnic Test Score Gaps (January 4, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3013754 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3013754

Sean Reardon

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Demetra Kalogrides

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Kenneth Shores (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University ( email )

Health and Human Development
University Park, PA 16802
United States
6505804655 (Phone)

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