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Black-White Test-Score Gap

Black-White Test-Score Gap - 98 edition

ISBN13: 978-0815746096

Cover of Black-White Test-Score Gap 98 (ISBN 978-0815746096)
ISBN13: 978-0815746096
ISBN10: 0815746091
Cover type:
Edition: 98
Copyright: 1998
Publisher: Brookings Institution
Published: 1998
International: No

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Black-White Test-Score Gap - 98 edition

ISBN13: 978-0815746096

Christopher Jencks and Meredith Phillips

ISBN13: 978-0815746096
ISBN10: 0815746091
Cover type:
Edition: 98
Copyright: 1998
Publisher: Brookings Institution
Published: 1998
International: No
Summary

The test score gap between blacks and whites--on vocabulary, reading, and math tests, as well as on tests that claim to measure scholastic aptitude and intelligence--is large enough to have far-reaching social and economic consequences. In their introduction to this book, Christopher Jencks and Meredith Phillips argue that eliminating the disparity would dramatically reduce economic and educational inequality between blacks and whites. Indeed, they think that closing the gap would do more to promote racial equality than any other strategy now under serious discussion. The book offers a comprehensive look at the factors that contribute to the test score gap and discusses options for substantially reducing it.
Although significant attempts have been made over the past three decades to shrink the test score gap, including increased funding for predominantly black schools, desegregation of southern schools, and programs to alleviate poverty, the median black American still scores below 75 percent of American whites on most standardized tests. The book brings together recent evidence on some of the most controversial and puzzling aspects of the test score debate, including the role of test bias, heredity, and family background. It also looks at how and why the gap has changed over the past generation, reviews the educational, psychological, and cultural explanations for the gap, and analyzes its educational and economic consequences.

The authors demonstrate that traditional explanations account for only a small part of the black-white test score gap. They argue that this is partly because traditional explanations have put too much emphasis on racial disparities in economic resources, both in homes and in schools, and on demographic factors like family structure. They say that successful theories will put more emphasis on psychological and cultural factors, such as the way black and white parents teach their children to deal with things they do not know or understand, and the way black and white children respond to the same classroom experiences. Finally, they call for large-scale experiments to determine the effects of schools' racial mix, class size, ability grouping, and other policies.

In addition to the editors, the contributors include Claude Steele, Ronald Ferguson, William G. Bowen, Philip Cook, and William Julius Wilson.

Author Bio

Jencks, Christopher : Harvard University

Christopher Jencks is the Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, the author of The Homeless (Harvard, 1994) and Rethinking Social Policy: Race, Poverty, and the Underclass (Harperperennial, 1993), and the coeditor of The Urban Underclass (Brookings, 1991).


Phillips, Meredith : University of California-Los Angeles

Meredith Phillips is assistant professor of policy studies at UCLA's School of Public Policy and Social Research.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Black-White Test Score Gap: An Introduction

Part 1: Test Bias, Heredity, and Home Environment

Chapter 2: Racial Bias in Testing
Chapter 3: Race, Genetics, and IQ
Chapter 4: Family Background, Parenting Practices, and the Black-White Test Score Gap

Part 2: How and Why the Gap has Changed

Chapter 5: Black-White Test Score Convergence since 1965
Chapter 6: Why Did the Black-White Score Gap Narrow in the 1970s and 1980s?

Part 3: The Impact of Schools and Culture

Chapter 7: Does the Black-White Test Score Gap Widen after Children Enter School?
Chapter 8: Teachers' Perceptions and Expectations and the Black-White Test Score Gap
Chapter 9: Can Schools Narrow the Black-White Test Score Gap?
Chapter 10: The Burden of "Acting White": Do Black Adolescents Disparage Academic Achievement?
Chapter 11: Stereotype Threat and the Test Performance of Academically Successful African Americans

Part 4: Do Test Scores Matter?

Chapter 12: Racial and Ethnic Preferences in College Admissions
Chapter 13: Scholastic Aptitude test Scores, Race, and Academic Performance in Selective Coleges and Universities
Chapter 14: Basic Skills and the Black-White Earning Gap

Part 5: Commentary

Chapter 15: The Role of the Environment in Black-White Test Score Gap


Index
Contributors

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