Effects of Socioeconomic Status of School Population on Student Math Achievement Growth

Gyehoon Oh, University of Wisconsin at Madison

This study examines the effects of socioeconomic status of student population on student math achievement gains between 10th and 12th grades. Focusing on some methodological and conceptual issues raised in previous studies, this study addresses the following research questions: (1) does the socioeconomic composition of schools affect student gains in standardized math test scores above and beyond the family- and individual-level effects? (2) If so, what are the underlying mechanisms through which the social composition of schools affects student achievement? (3) Are students from specific backgrounds more affected than others by the composition of student population in a school? Using data drawn from ELS:2002 and employing the HLM, this study reveals the importance of compositional context of student population in a school not only in determining how much a student improves in math tests between 10th and 12th grades, but also in shaping racial gaps in math achievement growth.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 21: Segregation and School Outcomes