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Volume 112, Number 5, 2010

Featured Articles
by Geoffrey Borman & Maritza Dowling
Four decades after the pathbreaking Coleman report, researchers are still working to address its primary message: that school social composition and resources are not important for understanding and addressing educational inequality. Using the original Equality of Educational Opportunity data, this study applied a two-level hierarchical linear model to partition the variation in ninth-grade students’ verbal achievement into its within- and between-school components and to measure the associations among school-level social composition, resources, teacher characteristics, and peer characteristics and achievement. We estimated that 40% of the achievement variance was between schools, whereas Coleman and colleagues had originally estimated that only 8.5%–18% lay between schools. Explanatory analyses suggested that the racial/ethnic and social class composition of a student’s school was over 1 3/4 times more important than a student’s individual race/ethnicity or social class for understanding educational outcomes. Further, within-school Black-White achievement gaps and social class differences were explained in part by curricular differentiation and teachers’ preferences toward middle-class students. These findings are contrasted with those from a set of traditional ordinary least squares regression models and the past conclusions drawn from the Coleman report.

by Sean Kelly
The author investigates the behavioral climate and teachers’ use of developmental instruction in predominantly black schools in three databases.

by Susan Stone, Timothy Brown & Stephen Hinshaw
In this paper children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) provide a test case through which to investigate psychosocial school compositional effects.

by Anthony Buttaro, Jr., Sophia Catsambis, Lynn Mulkey & Lala Steelman
This investigation is sparked by research findings on secondary education showing school segregation to be closely associated with homogeneous grouping practices, such as tracking and between-class ability grouping. We conduct secondary analyses of national data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study –Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K) to investigate the degree to which the racial and ethnic composition of schools is associated with use of ability grouping practices as early as kindergarten.

by James Benson & Geoffrey Borman
This quantitative study employs a seasonal perspective to assess the importance of neighborhood and school contexts for reading achievement as of school entry and through the first 2 years of elementary school.

by Argun Saatcioglu
This article examines the effects of segregation, desegregation, and resegregation on minority and White dropout rates in urban high schools. Relying on multilevel techniques, it analyzes school- and student-level outcomes simultaneously. The results, based on longitudinal data from Cleveland, suggest that desegregated high schools aggravated dropout tendencies to a much lesser extent than did segregated ones, although the eventual rates at the student level changed only modestly, largely because of the worsening nonschool problems. Desegregation was particularly beneficial for high schools serving cohorts that were exposed to integration starting in first grade. Resegregation nullified many of the school-level benefits of desegregation. The overall results were similar for minorities and Whites.

by Stefanie DeLuca & Peter Rosenblatt
This article uses mixed methods to explore the relationship between housing and school opportunities for low-income families given the chance to move to less poor communities through the federal Moving to Opportunity (MTO) housing voucher experiment. Quantitative analyses suggest that new housing opportunities did not generally translate into a larger increase in school quality because families did not secure housing in communities with the highest-performing schools. Qualitative findings explore how structural constraints and parenting practices interact to affect where children attend school.

by Janet Schofield
This article reviews international research on the connection between various forms of ability grouping with curriculum differentiation and the achievement gap. It concludes that such practices are likely to increase the gap between initially high- and low-achieving students, as well as between those from more and less privileged social backgrounds.

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