ERIC Number: EJ1112176
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
The Politics of Achievement Gaps: U.S. Public Opinion on Race-Based and Wealth-Based Differences in Test Scores
Valant, Jon; Newark, Daniel A.
Educational Researcher, v45 n6 p331-346 Aug-Sep 2016
For decades, researchers have documented large differences in average test scores between minority and White students and between poor and wealthy students. These gaps are a focal point of reformers' and policymakers' efforts to address educational inequities. However, the U.S. public's views on achievement gaps have received little attention from researchers, despite playing an important role in shaping policymakers' behaviors. Drawing on randomized experiments with a nationally representative sample of adults, we explore the public's beliefs about test score gaps and its support for gap-closing initiatives. We find that Americans are more concerned about--and more supportive of proposals to close--wealth-based achievement gaps than Black-White or Hispanic-White gaps. Americans also explain the causes of wealth-based gaps more readily.
Descriptors: Politics of Education, Achievement Gap, Public Opinion, Racial Differences, Social Class, Scores, African American Students, White Students, Hispanic American Students, Surveys, Social Science Research, Likert Scales, Socioeconomic Status, Social Bias, Preferences
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305B090016