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Examining Gaps in Mathematics Achievement Among Racial-Ethnic Groups, 1972-1992

Examining Gaps in Mathematics Achievement Among Racial-Ethnic Groups, 1972-1992

Mark Berends
Samuel R. Lucas
Thomas Sullivan
R.J. Briggs
Copyright Date: 2005
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 184
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  • Book Info
    Examining Gaps in Mathematics Achievement Among Racial-Ethnic Groups, 1972-1992
    Book Description:

    Examines trends in the mathematics scores of different racial-ethnic groups over time and analyzes how changes in family, school, and schooling measures help explain changes in the test score gaps. Although there were few positive changes between schools, the within-school experiences of black and Latino students changed for the better compared with white students when measured by student self-reported academic track placement.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4066-4
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xix-xx)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Explaining Student Achievement Gaps Over Time
    (pp. 1-12)

    Systematic empirical examination of the effects of changes between and within schools on student achievement is important for providing a context to assess current educational reforms at the federal, state, and local levels. In this analysis, we empirically examine several family-and school-based explanations for black-white and Latino-white test score differences over the past 20 years, using data available for several national cohorts of high school seniors between 1972 and 1992.¹ Specifically, the main research questions we analyze include:

    How did the test scores of blacks, Latinos, and whites change between the early 1970s and early 1990s?

    How did selected family...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Individual, Family, and School Conditions and Their Relationships to Student Achievement
    (pp. 13-32)

    This chapter reviews some of the research on family and school measures that have been related to student achievement and can be measured in our analysis. Although our focus is on howchangesin families and schools between 1972 and 1992 are related to student achievement trends, it is important to understand the relevant research that examines these factors with a variety of data and methods. We begin the chapter by discussing some theoretical perspectives on human capital, status attainment, human development, and schools as organizations. Although different, all of these aspects point to the importance of examining the relationships...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Data and Methodology
    (pp. 33-46)

    To answer the questions posed about trends in test scores, family and school characteristics, and achievement gaps between racial-ethnic groups, we analyze three cohorts of high school seniors in nationally representative data sets that cover the experiences of secondary school students in the United States between 1972, 1982, and 1992. The data sets are:

    NLS of the high school class of 1972 (NLS-72).

    HSB senior cohort of 1982 (HSB-82).

    NELS senior cohort of 1992 (NELS-92).

    These national data sets are part of the LS program of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), so hereafter we refer to these data...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Trends in Mathematics Achievement, Family, and School Characteristics, 1972–1992
    (pp. 47-60)

    Black and Latino students have made considerable achievement gains in the last couple of decades in narrowing the minority-nonminority test score gap. The convergence occurs across subject area tests (Campbell et al., 2000), and the gap has narrowed more in reading than in mathematics. In addition, there have been changes in family and school conditions over this period that are likely to be related to student achievement trends and the achievement gaps between minority and nonminority youth.

    In this chapter, we first present trends in the black-white and Latino-white mathematics score differences in the senior cohorts and compare them to...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE The Reltionships Between Mathematics Test Score Gaps and Changes in Families and Schools, 1972–1992
    (pp. 61-68)

    As we have argued, examining trends in individual, family, and school differences among different racial-ethnic groups is critical for monitoring societal inequalities over time. In this chapter, we analyze the correspondence of these family and school changes to the mathematics test score differences for nationally representative senior high school cohorts between 1972 and 1992.

    The methods we use allow us to disentangle the changes that have occurred for black and white students (and later for Latino and white students). We examine the changes between 1972 and 1992 in levels (means) of the individual, family background, and school measures. When these...

  14. CHAPTER SIX Test Score Gaps Among Racial-Ethnic Groups: Conclusions and Policy Implications
    (pp. 69-82)

    Our analyses examined several family and school factors related to black-white and Latino-white test score differences in mathematics. We set out to build on past research by analyzing nationally representative data between the early 1970s and early 1990s to address questions related to mathematics score trends among blacks, Latinos, and whites; how selected family and school measures changed during this time period; and the correspondence of changes in these measures to black-white and Latino-white test score gaps. In this chapter, we summarize our findings based on these research questions and discuss the policy implications that arise from our empirical analyses,...

  15. APPENDIX A Item Response Theory Scaling of Pooled Senior Cohorts in NLS, HSB, and NELS
    (pp. 83-108)
  16. APPENDIX B Mathematics Items Mapping Across Data Sources, 1972–1992
    (pp. 109-114)
  17. APPENDIX C Item Response Theory Estimation Methods
    (pp. 115-118)
  18. APPENDIX D Survey Items Used to Operationalize Individual, Family, and School Measures in NLS-72, HSB-82, and NELS-92
    (pp. 119-130)
  19. APPENDIX E Multilevel Results Relating Mathematics Achievements to Individual, Family, and School Characteristics, 1972–1992
    (pp. 131-138)
  20. References
    (pp. 139-163)