ERIC Number: ED467362
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-May-31
Reference Count: N/A
Racial Subgroup Rules in School Accountability Systems.
Kane, Thomas J.; Staiger, Douglas O.
This paper describes incentives established to confront longstanding differences in test performance by race and ethnicity and to set student performance goals. The federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 aspires to set goals for subgroups defined by race/ethnicity, economic disadvantage, disability, and English language learner status. A growing number of states are setting performance targets not only for schools overall but for subgroups of students within the schools as well. Section 1 introduces the issue. Section 2 describes subgroup rules. Section 3 discusses holding all subgroups to the same absolute standard, noting the anticipation of school failure rates, use of minimum proficiency rates in Texas, and importance of defining subgroup status. Section 4 discusses requiring improvements for all groups, highlighting California. Section 5 notes the impact of subgroup rules on minority achievement. Section 6 concludes that despite some closing of racial achievement gaps, such gaps remain large. The analysis suggests that using subgroup targets in school accountability programs is not the answer. This tends to cause schools to fail, arbitrarily singling out schools with large minority subgroups for sanctions and excluding them from awards or statistically disadvantaging diverse schools that are more likely to be attended by minority students. The evidence indicates that the use of subgroup targets is counterproductive in test-based accountability systems. (Contains 13 figures, 2 tables, and 8 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Texas