Achieving the elimination of racial differences in test performance, as set forth in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), requires education policies that engage the reality that African American test performances are not only about race but also about gender and residential status. In an effort to inform education policymaking with research that explores race–gender and residential inequality, I assess the growth of reading gaps in school and non-school contexts using a national and city sample of children from the Early Childhood Longitudinal, Kindergarten Cohort 1998–1999. I found that inequality in test performances was greater in the city than elsewhere, and African American boys shoulder a disproportionate educational burden related to city residency and enrollment in city schools. Additionally, children in city neighborhoods – where drugs and burglary are big problems – experience large shortfalls in reading in school and non-school contexts. I conclude with a discussion of the study’s implications for future educational policy, practice, and research, especially NCLB, which mandates that public schools achieve parity among racial groups by the end of the 2013–2014 academic year.
I would like to thank Joshua Rushing for the assistance he provided in the preparation of this chapter. This research is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation (#DRL-0941014), Spencer Foundation (#201000103) and Maryland Population Research Center at the University of Maryland.
Johnson, O. (2014), "Race–Gender Inequality Across Residential and School Contexts: What can Policy Do?", African American Male Students in PreK-12 Schools: Informing Research, Policy, and Practice (Advances in Race and Ethnicity in Education, Vol. 2), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 343-374. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2051-231720140000002033Download as .RIS
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