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ERIC Number: EJ894395
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 46
ISSN: ISSN-0964-5292
Examining the Achievement Test Score Gap between Urban and Suburban Students
Sandy, Jonathan; Duncan, Kevin
Education Economics, v18 n3 p297-315 Sep 2010
Data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Labor Market Experience for Youth (1997 cohort) are used to examine the urban school achievement gap. Specifically, we use the Blinder-Oaxaca technique to decompose differences in Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery scores for students who attended urban and suburban schools. We find that approximately 75% of the gap in this achievement measure is explained by the high concentration of disadvantaged students in urban schools. Broken down further, 36% of the gap can be attributed to differences in family background. The lower income of urban families alone explains 25% of the gap. Differences in measures of school quality, such as small classes, large schools, and private school attendance, explain very little of the gap. While current policy focuses on schools and school reform, our results are a reminder that meaningful efforts to improve performance in urban schools must address socioeconomic conditions in urban areas. (Contains 5 tables and 3 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Longitudinal Survey of Labor Market Experience for Youth; Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery