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Long-Run Trends in the U.S. SES-Achievement Gap

Eric Hanushek (), Paul E. Peterson, Laura M. Talpey and Ludger Woessmann ()
Additional contact information
Paul E. Peterson: Harvard University
Laura M. Talpey: Stanford University

No 12971, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: Rising inequality in the United States has raised concerns about potentially widening gaps in educational achievement by socio-economic status (SES). Using assessments from LTT-NAEP, Main-NAEP, TIMSS, and PISA that are psychometrically linked over time, we trace trends in achievement for U.S. student cohorts born between 1954 and 2001. Achievement gaps between the top and bottom quartiles of the SES distribution have been large and remarkably constant for a near half century. These unwavering gaps have not been offset by improved achievement levels, which have risen at age 14 but have remained unchanged at age 17 for the past quarter century.

Keywords: student achievement; inequality; socio-economic status; United States; NAEP; TIMSS; PISA (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H4 I24 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 85 pages
Date: 2020-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-lma, nep-ltv and nep-ore
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