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School personnel-student racial congruence and the achievement gap

School personnel-student racial congruence and the achievement gap PurposeThis paper aims to examine the relationship between student achievement and racial congruence of school personnel and students to help educators and policy makers narrow the achievement gap.Design/methodology/approachThis quasi-experimental, correlational study used publicly available data from 158 elementary schools in the Houston Independent School District. The authors analyzed the level of congruence of school personnel and students in relation to reading, math and science scores with the fifth-grade students.FindingsControlling for the percentage of economically disadvantaged students, separate univariate ANCOVAs on the outcome variables revealed significant effects of racial congruence levels on reading scores, F(2, 153) = 3.73, p = 0.026 and math scores, F(2, 153) = 3.977, p = 0.02.Research limitations/implicationsThe operationalization of racial congruence had not been previously used. African-Americans and Hispanics were labeled as non-white, Asian-Americans (who do not show the achievement gap) were grouped with white students, and other minority groups were excluded. The study was a natural experiment without randomization or intervention.Practical implicationsFindings can be used to narrow the achievement gap by encouraging recruitment of Hispanics and African-Americans educators and influencing administrators as they decide where to place hired personnel.Originality/ValueUsing a much larger sample size than previous studies, this study found a factor to narrow the achievement gap. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal for Multicultural Education Emerald Publishing

School personnel-student racial congruence and the achievement gap

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2053-535X
DOI
10.1108/JME-06-2016-0039
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThis paper aims to examine the relationship between student achievement and racial congruence of school personnel and students to help educators and policy makers narrow the achievement gap.Design/methodology/approachThis quasi-experimental, correlational study used publicly available data from 158 elementary schools in the Houston Independent School District. The authors analyzed the level of congruence of school personnel and students in relation to reading, math and science scores with the fifth-grade students.FindingsControlling for the percentage of economically disadvantaged students, separate univariate ANCOVAs on the outcome variables revealed significant effects of racial congruence levels on reading scores, F(2, 153) = 3.73, p = 0.026 and math scores, F(2, 153) = 3.977, p = 0.02.Research limitations/implicationsThe operationalization of racial congruence had not been previously used. African-Americans and Hispanics were labeled as non-white, Asian-Americans (who do not show the achievement gap) were grouped with white students, and other minority groups were excluded. The study was a natural experiment without randomization or intervention.Practical implicationsFindings can be used to narrow the achievement gap by encouraging recruitment of Hispanics and African-Americans educators and influencing administrators as they decide where to place hired personnel.Originality/ValueUsing a much larger sample size than previous studies, this study found a factor to narrow the achievement gap.

Journal

Journal for Multicultural EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 13, 2017

References