Home Articles Reader Opinion Editorial Book Reviews Discussion Writers Guide About TCRecord
transparent 13
Topics
Discussion
Announcements

The Mean Is Not Enough: Using Quantile Regression to Examine Trends in Asian–White Differences Across the Entire Achievement Distribution


by Spyros Konstantopoulos — 2009

Background: In recent years, Asian Americans have been consistently described as a model minority. The high levels of educational achievement and educational attainment are the main determinants for identifying Asian Americans as a model minority. Nonetheless, only a few studies have examined empirically the accomplishments of Asian Americans, and even fewer studies have compared their achievement with other important societal groups such as Whites. In addition, differences in academic achievement between Asian Americans and Whites across the entire achievement distribution, or differences in the variability of the achievement distribution, have not been documented. However, this is an important task because it provides information about the achievement gap for lower, average, and higher achieving students.

Purpose: The present study examines differences in academic achievement between Asian American and White students in average scores (e.g., middle of the achievement distribution), in extreme scores (e.g., the upper and the lower tails of the achievement distribution), and in the variability of the achievement distribution. The main objective of this study is to determine the achievement gap between Asian American and White students in the lower and upper tails of the achievement distribution to shed some light on whether the achievement gap between the two groups varies by achievement level.

Participants: I use data from four national probability samples of high school seniors to examine Asian American–White differences in achievement from 1972 to 1992. Specifically, I used data from the base year of the NLS (NLS:72), the base year of the High School and Beyond (HSB) survey of 1980, the first follow-up of the HSB survey in 1982 (that is HSB:80, HSB:82), and the second follow-up of NELS (NELS:92).

Research Design: The study is correlational and uses quantile regression to analyze observational data from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.

Findings: The findings indicate that the Asian American–White gap is more pronounced in mathematics than in reading. In 1992, the gap in the middle and the upper tail of the mathematics distribution is greater than one third of a SD, which is not a trivial gap in education. In reading, the gap is overall smaller, and nearly one third of a SD in 1992 in the upper tail (favoring Asian students).

Conclusions: It appears that Asian American students are indeed a model minority group that performs not only at similar levels but also at higher levels than the majority group, especially among high achievers in mathematics (and reading in the 1990s).



To view the full-text for this article you must be signed-in with the appropropriate membership. Please review your options below:

Sign-in
Email:
Password:
Store a cookie on my computer that will allow me to skip this sign-in in the future.
Send me my password -- I can't remember it
 
Purchase this Article
Purchase The Mean Is Not Enough: Using Quantile Regression to Examine Trends in Asian–White Differences Across the Entire Achievement Distribution
Individual-Resource passes allow you to purchase access to resources one resource at a time. There are no recurring fees.
$12
Become a Member
Online Access
With this membership you receive online access to all of TCRecord's content. The introductory rate of $25 is available for a limited time.
$25
Print and Online Access
With this membership you receive the print journal and free online access to all of TCRecord's content.
$210


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 111 Number 5, 2009, p. 1274-1295
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15235, Date Accessed: 10/22/2017 5:05:41 PM

Purchase Reprint Rights for this article or review
Article Tools
Related Articles

Related Discussion
 
Post a Comment | Read All

About the Author
  • Spyros Konstantopoulos
    Northwestern University
    E-mail Author
    SPYROS KONSTANTOPOULOS is an assistant professor of human development and social policy, and assistant professor of learning sciences at the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. His current research interests include power analysis in three-level designs, school and teacher effects, and the social distribution of academic achievement. Recent publications are “Trends of School Effects on Student Achievement: Evidence from NLS:72, HSB: 82, and NELS:92” in Teachers College Record (2006) and, with B. Nye and L. V. Hedges, “How Large Are Teacher Effects?” in (2004).
Member Center
In Print
This Month's Issue

Submit
EMAIL

Twitter

RSS