Calling it out: The role of institutional racism in disparities in educational outcomes
Disparities in educational outcomes are investigated using Critical Race Theory and a quantitative theoretical model from the health literature. Data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study - Kindergarten Cohort are linked with segregation indices for dissimilarity and poverty interaction derived from US Census 2000 data to estimate the impact of institutional racism on grade retention and middle school science achievement. Discrete time hazard and shared frailty models demonstrate that while blacks are the most likely to be retained in grade, there are racial/ethnic differences in the risk factors. For science achievement, OLS Regression and Hierarchical Linear Models are used to estimate the impact at the individual and school levels of analysis. Students who attended minority-segregated or economically and racially isolated schools in kindergarten have lower science achievement in middle school, as do students who attend schools in eighth grade with fewer resources and a higher percentage of minority students. The empirical analyses indicate that both individual and structural level predictors explain much of the racial/ethnic disparities in educational outcomes.