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ERIC Number: ED473120
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jun
Pages: 61
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Understanding the Black-White Test Score Gap in the First Two Years of School. NBER Working Paper Series.
Fryer, Roland G., Jr.; Levitt, Steven D.
In previous research, a substantial gap in test scores between white and black students persists, even after controlling for a wide range of observable characteristics. Using a data set made available by the National Center for Education Statistics, the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, this paper demonstrates that in stark contrast to earlier studies, the black-white test score gap among incoming kindergartners disappears when controlling for a small number of covariates. Over the first 2 years of school, however, blacks lose substantial ground relative to other races. There is suggestive evidence that differences in school quality may be an important part of the explanation. None of the other hypotheses tested to explain why Blacks are losing ground receive any empirical backing. The difference between this study's findings and previous research is consistent with real gains made by recent cohorts of blacks, although other explanations are also possible. (Contains 55 references.) (Author/SM)
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138. Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA.