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Institutional Affiliation: Harvard Graduate School of Education
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|August 2020||Have Income-Based Achievement Gaps Widened or Narrowed?|
with , , , : w27714
Since 1990, U.S. policymakers have worked to close gaps in academic achievement by income and race (e.g. with school finance reform and school accountability systems) even as rising income inequality and income-based residential segregation have threatened to widen them. Using estimates of the mean and variance in household income for sampled schools, we reconstruct the student-level relationship between achievement and household income in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) from 1990 to 2015. We find that achievement at all levels of parental income rose substantially in 4th and 8th grade. In contrast to Reardon (2011), we find that achievement gaps narrowed substantially in 4th grade reading and math and in 8th grade math, while the gaps remained stable in 8th grad...