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Journal Article: White enrollment in nonpublic schools, public school racial composition, and student performance

Journal Article » White enrollment in nonpublic schools, public school racial composition, and student performance


Academic Achievement, Private School Education, Public School, Education, Racial and Ethnic Differences, School Enrollment, Minority Groups, Whites


Bankston, Carl L., III; Caldas, Stephen J.


2000, Fal


Examined the relationship between the racial composition of public schools in school districts and the percentages of White students in nonpublic schools in those districts. Specifically, 2 questions were asked: (1) Is the enrollment of Whites in non-public schools associated with minority predominance in public schools? and (2) Is there an association between the enrollment of Whites outside of the public school system and the academic performance of students in the public school system? Using 2- and 3-level hierarchical linear models, it was found that school districts that have more Whites in nonpublic schools tended to contain public schools with larger percentages of minority students. At both the school and individual levels, achievement test scores tended to be lower in districts in which White students tended to be enrolled outside of the public school system. The achievement gap between White and minority students tended to be greater in districts with relatively more students in nonpublic schools. These findings are consistent with the argument that the withdrawal of White students from the public school system is negatively related to academic achievement because it tends to concentrate minority students in public schools. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA )