Racial and ethnic differences in educational outcomes significantly narrowed during the 1970s and 1980s when K–12 public schools were desegregated. However, when schools resegregated starting roughly in the late 1980s, racial gaps in outcomes widened again. Because of literacy’s pivotal role in learning, the authors investigate if segregation contributes to racial gaps in K–12 reading performance. Drawing upon structural vulnerability and cumulative advantage/disadvantage theories to frame this study, the authors conduct multilevel metaregression analyses of 131 effect sizes from 30 primary studies to investigate if school composition effects contribute to racial gaps in K–12 reading outcomes and if any effects vary in magnitude or direction for students from different racial/ethnic backgrounds or grade levels. The metaregression analyses control for the primary studies’ regression model characteristics and research designs. The results indicate a small, negative, statistically significant relationship between the percentage of a school’s disadvantaged minority enrollment and the mean reading achievement of the students who attend it. The negative association is stronger when segregation is measured by percentage Black and is stronger for high school students. These two findings suggest that the disadvantages of segregated education cumulate as more structurally vulnerable students transition from elementary to secondary school. Additional resultsmore »
This content will become publicly available on September 24, 2023
Math achievement in U.S. high schools is a consistent predictor of educational attainment. While emphasis on raising math achievement continues, school-level interventions often come at the expense of other subjects. Arts courses are particularly at risk of being cut, especially in schools serving lower socioeconomic status youth. Evidence suggests, however, that arts coursework is beneficial to many educational outcomes. We use data on 20,590 adolescents from the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 to answer two research questions: (1) Does student accumulation of fine arts courses across different topic areas relate positively to math test scores in high school? (2) Does school SES differentiate this potential association? Results indicate that youth attending higher-SES schools take more art courses and taking music courses is related to higher math test scores. However, this benefit only seems to only apply to more socially advantaged student bodies. Results reveal a site of additional educational advantage for already privileged youth.
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- Sociological Perspectives
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