Did the Coleman Report Underestimate the Effect of Economic Status on Educational Outcomes?
by John L. Rury & Argun Saatcioglu - January 22, 2015
This research note considers the historical question of how well the proxy variable used in the Coleman Report to represent economic status actually predicted educational outcomes. We use U.S. Census data from 1960 to construct proxies similar to Colemanís and compare them to a variable directly measuring relative economic status, adjusted for family size. Our analysis suggests that such proxies under-estimate the economic standing of many households and that these indicators do not predict educational outcomes as effectively as more direct measures of income. We conclude with a brief discussion of implications of this finding for educational researchers today.
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