Government & Politics

Study says; The racial mix of the student body impacts student achievement

National attention paid to the ever existing racial achievement gap may finally have an area to zero in on — the racial mix of a school’s student body.

A new federal study shows that black and white students attending schools where a large portion of the students are black, perform worse than students at schools where there is a low density of black students.

The data and analysis was released Thursday by the National Center for Education Statistics, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education. U.S. News and World Report, in an article about the new findings, reported that “The black-white achievement gap has been studied for years, but its relationship to school composition has generally not been explored.”

Educators responding to the report said it “sheds new light on the achievement gap between white and black students..”

And others said the findings support the argument that education resources are not distributed fairly in this country, and that the latest “inequitable results bear that out,” said Liz King, director of education policy at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

The report said achievement was lower for both black and white students in schools where black students accounted for more than 40 percent of the student body, compared to schools where black students accounted for less than 20 percent of the student body.