Since different races have unique fertility rates and migration patterns, performing school district enrollment projections by race and aggregating to a total may be more accurate than performing enrollment projections with all races combined. Twelve school districts in New Jersey of varying overall size and majority race percentages were used in this study to determine whether projecting enrollment by race or with all races combined is more accurate. Using historical enrollment data for a five-year period, the Cohort-Survival Ratio method was employed to project enrollment for a four-year period, 2003–04 through 2006–07. Projected enrollments were compared to actual enrollments in each district for both methods used for the purpose of determining whether district building capacity would be exceeded. Enrollments computed were district totals and enrollment by elementary, middle, and high school configurations. Percent differences were calculated for each district for the projection time period. The results showed that the projections with all races combined had lower percent differences as compared to the projections that were performed by race, particularly for smaller districts. However, the findings also showed that projecting enrollment by race might be suitable for larger districts with low majority race percentages. The results also demonstrated that projections by race are greater in magnitude than those projections performed with all races combined, which corroborates an earlier assertion by Keyfitz.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 13, 2009
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