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LPO Fall Colloquium Series - Socioeconomic Status, Race, and the Geography of Academic Achievement

Wednesday, September 21, 2016,
  • Location: Mayborn Building • 130 Magnolia Cir • Nashville, TN 37212
  • Room: 204

 Sean Reardon is the endowed Professor of Poverty and Inequality in Education and is Professor (by courtesy) of Sociology at Stanford University.

Professor Reardon will discuss findings from a new study that estimates racial/ethnic achievement gaps in several hundred metropolitan areas and several thousand school districts in the United States using new data based on the results of roughly 200 million standardized math and reading tests administered to elementary and middle school students from 2009-2012.  The study reports substantial geographic variation in the magnitude of achievement gaps, ranging from nearly 0 in some places to larger than 1.2 standard deviations in others. A vector of economic, demographic, segregation and schooling characteristics variables explains roughly three-quarters of the geographic variation in these gaps. The strongest correlates of achievement gaps are racial/ethnic differences in parental income, parental education, and racial/ethnic segregation. Nonetheless, even after adjusting for racial socioeconomic inequality and segregation, many school districts and metropolitan areas have larger or smaller achievement gaps than predicted, suggesting that other forces are at work as well.