This study uses national data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study to model educational inequality as a feedback process among course placement, student engagement, and academic achievement, separately for students in schools with high and low percentages of African American students. Results find strong effects of placement, engagement, and performance on one another over time and across both school types. However, the results also show that racial segregation is detrimental to the overall learning process for students between 8th and 10th grade. The author concludes that White and African American students in predominantly Black, particularly urban, schools are significantly disadvantaged at each point of the learning process compared to students in other school types.
In this paper, we explore the differences in high school dropout rates among white, black and Hispanic students in 275 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) in 2000. Our analysis focuses on the impact of community and labor market conditions, in hopes of providing insight into the relationship between place and educational outcomes. The explanatory power of our regression models is mixed across racial groups, performing best for whites and Hispanics. Our results also indicate that community factors - most importantly, same-race adult educational attainment in the community, teenage birth rates and residential stability - have a greater impact on dropout rates than labor market factors. Our results suggest that as education reform moves toward broad-based solutions to improve student outcomes including dropout rates, it will be increasingly important to address the structural origins of inequality outside of schools.
Ambiguity remains as to whether contemporary levels of racial segregation in and outside of the U.S. South are a serious problem. This article subsequently examines the math and science test-scores of 3rd-graders that participated in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study. Test-score performances are estimated using multilevel statistical methods for the national sample, and for children in low and high minority schools within and outside of the South. The analysis reveals lower test-scores for students in high minority schools, especially for African Americans and southern children in high minority private schools. In addition, a neighborhood's economic segregation appears to have a stronger association with test-scores than its racial segregation. The article concludes with a discussion of how school and neighborhood segregation reproduces racial stratification.