Title:  School Composition and the Black-White Achievement Gap
Description: School Composition and the Black-White Achievement Gap explores public schools’ demographic composition, in particular, the proportion of Black students enrolled in schools (also referred to “Black student density” in schools) and its relation to the Black-White achievement gap. This NCES study, the first of its kind, used the 2011 NAEP grade 8 mathematics assessment data. As reported earlier, Black students at the national level, on average, scored 30 points lower than their White peers in 2011.

Among the results highlighted in the report, the study indicates that the achievement gap between Black and White students remains whether schools fall in the highest density category (i.e., schools that composed of at least 60 percent Black students) or the lowest density category (i.e., schools that composed of less than or equal to 20 percent Black students). When accounting for factors such as student socioeconomic status and other student, teacher, and school characteristics, Black students, and Black male students in particular, scored lower in the highest- rather than the lowest density schools. Further, the portion of the Black-White achievement gap attributed to within-school differences (e.g., how schools internally distribute resources and treat students) is larger than the portion attributed to between-school differences (e.g., how schools vary in technology, updated textbooks, and qualified teachers).
Online Availability:
Cover Date: September 2015
Web Release: September 24, 2015
Publication #: NCES 2015018
Center/Program: NCES
Authors: NCES
Type of Product: Statistical Analysis Report
Survey/Program Areas: National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
Keywords:
Questions: For questions about the content of this Statistical Analysis Report, please contact:
Taslima Rahman.