Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel Paper: Why Don't More Black Students Take AP Math Courses? the Effects of Social Isolation and within-School Segregation

Thursday, November 12, 2015 : 10:55 AM
Tuttle Center (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Dania Francis1, Kara Bonneau2 and William Darity2, (1)University of Massachusetts, Amherst, (2)Duke University
In this paper we use administrative data from three cohorts of North Carolina public high school students to examine the effects of within-school segregation on the propensity of academically eligible black high school students to take advanced math courses.  Conceptually, black students may be less likely to take advanced courses even when they are academically eligible if they are at risk of social isolation.  This is most likely to happen if schools are segregated along racial lines with advanced courses populated mainly by white students and general or remedial education courses populated mainly by black students.  Our identification strategy takes advantage of cohort-to-cohort variation in the share of 11th and 12th grade black students enrolled in advanced math courses when a cohort first enters a school in the 9th grade.  We find that a 1% increase in the share of 11th and 12th graders in advanced math courses increases the likelihood that an academically eligible black student will take an advanced math course before they graduate by 13%.  Effects for black males are even higher