Where Are Gaps the Largest? A Look at within and across Group Differences
Littisha A. Bates, University of Cincinnati
Racial/ethnic minorities and children from economically deprived homes have lower educational achievement than their counterparts from more affluent homes. The achievement gap is particularly striking in the case of minority children, as they are more likely than their non-Hispanic white counterparts to be living in poverty. This overlap in achievement gaps makes it difficult to clearly identify the most disadvantaged populations. Using two of the designations laid out in NCLB, race and socioeconomic status, this study examines math and reading trajectories for children as they move through elementary school. These analyses will apply multilevel growth curves to four waves of data from The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 (ECLS-K). Identifying where the largest gaps exist along the socioeconomic spectrum across racial groups and within SES groups along the racial hierarchy can potentially increase the efficiency of policy intervention and ensure that the most at-risk children are served.