Demographics of Students in a Particular School Can Impact the Racial Achievement Gap

SchoolA new report from the U.S. Department of Education explores the racial gap in student achievement based on the demographic make-up of the schools the students attend. The report found that on average Whites attend schools where 9 percent of the students are Blacks. But Blacks attend schools where on average, 48 percent of all students are Black.

The study found that Whites students’ academic performance was similar in schools with a large percentage of Black students as in schools with a low percentage of Black students. But Black students, particularly Black males, did poorer academically in schools with a high percentage of Black students. The overall Black-White achievement gap was higher in schools with a large percentage of Black students. But this achievement gap existed due to the lower achievement of Black males. For female students there was no difference in the racial achievement gap between schools with a large percentage of Black students and a low percentage of Black students.

The full report, School Composition and the Black-White Achievement Gap, may be downloaded by clicking here.

Related Articles


  1. The data looks suspicious. There are no error bars and the density graphs are questionable. When looking at research of this caliber it becomes a question of what schools and how was the data gathered. I don’t believe this is a representative data set for African American students. Please read this article with caution.

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Recent Books of Interest to African American Scholars

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education regularly publishes a list of new books that may be of interest to our readers. The books included are on a wide variety of subjects and present many different points of view.

Online Articles That May Be of Interest to JBHE Readers

Each week, JBHE will provide links to online articles that may be of interest to our readers. Here are this week’s selections.

The Eutychus Phenomenon

Part of the Eutychus phenomenon is viewing those with diverse viewpoints in the room as fortunate, but not vital contributors. The narrative that affirmative action scours the earth looking for inept candidates to give them what mediocre White people rightfully deserve is oft repeated and sadly, embraced by many.

Three Black Presidents in Higher Education Announce Their Resignations

Cal Poly Humboldt President Tom Jackson, Florida A&M University President Larry Robinson, and Morehouse College President David Thomas have all announced their plans to step down from their respective presidential appointments.

Featured Jobs