Secondary School Segregation and the Transition to College

Siri Warkentien, Johns Hopkins University

Studies of racial school segregation generally find that attending segregated schools negatively affects educational outcomes. However, most studies measure exposure at just one point in time. Less is known about long-term exposure and the consequences of experiencing different timing, sequencing, and duration of exposure. This is problematic given changing policy and demographic contexts that increase the likelihood that students experience varying racial compositions throughout their education. This study uses a unique dataset constructed from three data sources—National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, Common Core of Data, and Private School Survey—to estimate the effect of differences in the timing, sequencing, and duration of exposure to black school segregation on college outcomes. Using marginal structural models, I estimate the causal effect of time-varying exposure on college enrollment and completion. Results will provide evidence-based implications for federal, state, and district policy aimed at equalizing educational opportunity and improving college outcomes.

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Presented in Session 151: Gender, Demographic Transitions, and Educational Inequalities