The Impact of School Composition on Black and White Achievement Gap

According to a recent study conducted by Bohrnstedt, G., Kitmitto, S., Ogut, B., Sherman, D., and Chan, D. published by the National Center for Education Statistics, there is a significant positive correlation between school composition and black-white achievement gap.

Using data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2011 Mathematics Grade 8 Assessment and the Common Core for 2010–11, the study found that while the achievement gap between white and black students remains significant overall with white students performing higher, the “achievement for both Black and White students was lower in the highest Black student density schools than in the lowest density schools. For Black students overall, and Black males in particular, achievement was still lower in the highest density schools than in the lowest density schools.”

Policy makers and educational practitioners should use the results of this study to inform both allocation of resources, and instructional practices in this environment of increasing resegregation of public schools.

NAEP is the largest nationally representativ​e and continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas.

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