Friday, November 14, 2014

Factors Influencing Student Outcomes and How They Interact - 07 - Student Race/Ethnicity

In response to the feedback received on "Educational Funding and Student Outcomes: The Relationship as Evidenced by State-Level Data," the KASB Research Department is working on a "Part II" which will dig further into other factors that impact student outcomes, and how funding impacts when these other factors are taken into consideration.

In this series of blog posts, I will describe the preliminary correlation analysis comparing these factors (independent variables) with each other in an attempt to show how closely tied to each other they are.  

Today's topic is Student Race/Ethnicity

NCES provides statistics on the percent of students in each major race and/or ethnic category based on self-identification.  This study includes information on the four categories in which the vast majority of the states' student populations fall; White, Black, Hispanic, and American Indian or Alaska Native.  

In terms of other independent variables, I will list the interactions in terms of the strength of the highest correlation between variables observed; Strong (+/- 1.0 to 0.5), Moderate (+/- 0.5 to 0.3), Weak (+/- .03 to 0.1), and None or Very Weak (+/- 0.1 to 0.0).

Strong

  • There is a strong negative correlation between percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch and percent of white students, a moderate positive correlation between percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch and percent of black students, and a weak positive correlation between percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch and percent of Hispanic students.  There is no correlation between NSLP status and percent of students who are American Indian or Alaska native.  This indicates that states with larger percents of non-white students also have higher percents of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, and further that percent of black students is more predictive of free and reduced price lunch eligible students than is percent of Hispanic students.  
  • There is a strong negative correlation between percent of students participating in ELL programs and percent of white students, a weak negative correlation between percent of students participating in ELL programs and percent of black students, a strong positive correlation between percent of students participating in ELL programs and percent of Hispanic students, and a weak positive correlation between students participating in ELL programs and percent of American Indian and/or Alaska native students; indicating that states with higher percents of students participating in ELL programs have fewer white and (to a lesser degree) black students and more Hispanic and (to a lesser degree) American Indian or Alaska native students.

Moderate

  • There is a moderate negative relationship between percent of white students and RPP, a moderate positive relationship between percent of Hispanic students and RPP, and no correlation between percent of Black or American Indian / Alaska Native students and RPP.  This indicates that states with higher cost of living are likely to have fewer white students and more Hispanic students than state with lower cost of living. 
  • There is a moderate positive correlation between percent of special education students and percent of white students, a moderate negative correlation between percent of special education students and percent of Hispanic students, and no correlation between percent of special education students and percent of black or American Indian or Alaska Native students.  This indicates that states with more white students and less Hispanic students have more students receiving services under IDEA. 
  • There is a weak to moderate negative correlation between teacher salaries and percent of white students, a weak positive correlation between teacher salaries and percent of Hispanic students, a weak negative correlation between teacher salaries and percent of American Indian or Alaska native students, and no correlation between teacher salaries and percent of black students when looking at actual dollar amounts and amounts adjusted for inflation (CPI2014).  When looking at teacher salaries adjusted for state cost-of-living (RPP), there is no correlation between teacher salaries and the percent of white and the percent of American Indian or Alaska native students (with the exception of percent white and secondary teacher salaries with a weak negative correlation), no correlation between teacher salaries and percent of Hispanic students, and a weak positive correlation between teacher salaries and percent of black students.  This suggests that, in general, states with higher percents of white and Native American or Alaska native students and higher have lower average teacher salaries, but that the nature of this relationship changes when state cost-of-living is taken into consideration; in which case states with higher percents of black students and lower percents of Native American or Alaska native students have higher teacher salaries.
  • There is a moderate positive correlation between percent of white students and percent of the population with at least a high school diploma, a moderate to strong negative correlation between the percent of black and Hispanic students and the percent of the population with at least a high school diploma, and a weak negative correlation between percent of 18-24 year olds with at least a high school diploma and the percent of American Indian or Alaska native students, but a weak positive correlation between percent of 25 year olds and older with at least a high school diploma.  There is a weak negative correlation between percent of black students and percent of people with at least a bachelor's degree, a weak positive correlation between percent of Hispanic students and percent of people with at least a bachelor's degree, and no correlation between percent of white and American Indian or Alaska native students and percent of people with at least a bachelor's degree.  There is a weak negative correlation between the percent of white and American Indian or Alaska native students and the percent of people with a graduate degree, a weak correlation between the percent of Hispanic students and percent of people with a gradate degree, and no correlation between percent of black students and percent of population with a graduate degree.  

Weak

  • There is a weak positive correlation between percent of white students in a state and percent taking the ACT, and a weak negative correlation between percent taking the SAT and percent of white students in a state.  This relationship is reversed when looking at percent of Hispanic students in a state; meaning states with more white students and fewer Hispanic students are more likely to take the ACT and less likely to take the SAT.  There is no correlation between percent of black students and ACT or SAT participation.  There is no correlation between percent of Native American or Alaska Native students in a state and percent taking the ACT, but there is a weak negative relationship between percent of Native American or Alaska Native students and percent participation on the SAT; meaning students from states with a larger percent of American Indian or Alaska Native students are less likely to take the SAT. 
  • There is a weak negative correlation between student-teach ratio and the percent of white students, a moderate positive correlation between student-teacher ratio and the percent of Hispanic students, and no correlation between student-teacher ratio and percent of black or American Indian or Alaska Native students; indicating that states with higher percents of white students and lower percents of Hispanic students have fewer students per teacher.
  • There is no correlation between school spending and percent of white, black, or American Indian or Alaska native students and a weak negative correlation for some measures of school spending and percent of Hispanic students when looking at actual dollars and dollars adjusted for inflation (CPI2014).  When adjusting for state cost-of-living (RPP), there is a weak positive correlation between the percent of white students and school spending, a weak negative correlation between the percent of Hispanic students and school spending, and no correlation between school spending and the percent of black and American Indian or Alaska native students.  This suggests that beyond regional cost differences, states with higher percents of white students and lower percents of Hispanic students have higher per pupil education spending.  
  • There is a weak positive correlation between percent of white students and spending on instruction as a percent of current spending, and a moderate negative correlation between spending on instruction as a percent of current spending and percent of American Indian or Alaska native students, but no correlation between spending on instruction and percent of black or Hispanic students.  There is a weak positive correlation between percent of white students and spending on instruction as a percent of total revenue, weak positive correlations between percent of Hispanic and American Indian or Alaska native students and spending on instruction as a percent of total revenue, and no correlation between the percent of black students and spending on instruction as a percent of total revenue.  This suggests that states with higher percents of white students and lower percents of American Indian or Alaska native students allocate more funds to expenses classified as "instruction," and when looking at total spending, states with higher percents of Hispanic students put more of their total funding amounts towards "instruction."  
  • There is a weak negative correlation between percent of white students and poverty, a weak to moderate positive correlation between percent of black students and poverty, a weak positive to no correlation between percent of Hispanic students and poverty, and no correlation between percent American Indian or Alaska native students and poverty (with the exception of a weak positive correlation between this and percent of children below 250% poverty).  This indicates that states with lower percents of white students and higher percents of black and Hispanic students have higher poverty.
  • There is a weak negative correlation between population per square mile and percent of white and American Indian or Alaska native students, a weak positive correlation between population per square mile and percent of black students, and no correlation between population per square mile and Hispanic students.  This indicates states with lower percents of white and American Indian or Alaska native students and higher percents of black students have more people per square mile. 
  • There is a weak negative to no correlation between percent of white students and personal or household income, a weak to moderate negative correlation between percent of black students and personal or household income, a weak positive to no correlation between percent of Hispanic students and personal or household income, and no correlation between percent of American Indian or Alaska native and personal or household income when looking at actual dollar amounts and amounts adjusted for inflation (CPI2014).  When adjusting for state cost-of-living (RPP), there is a weak positive correlation between the percent of white students and personal or household income, a weak to moderate negative correlation between percent of black students and personal or household income, and no correlation between the percent of Hispanic and American Indian or Alaska native students and personal or household income.  This suggests that, beyond regional cost differences, states with higher percents of white students and lower percents of black students have higher personal or household incomes.

None or Very Weak

  • There is no correlation between percent of students in various race and ethnic categories (White, Black, Hispanic, and American Indian / Alaska Native) and period; indicating these percents are remaining constant on average over time.

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