Race-Ethnicity and Socioeconomic Status in Contemporary Educational Policy
Stein, Marc Landon
This dissertation uses a sociological lens to investigate the roles that race-ethnicity and socioeconomic status — at the individual, school and neighborhood levels—play in three distinct contemporary educational policy issues. These papers use quantitative analyses to investigate the social contexts surrounding schools and schooling and the role that these contexts play in the enactment of educational policy, with special emphasis on racial-ethnic and socioeconomic inequalities. The first paper examines the effect of the race and socioeconomic status of individuals, schools and neighborhoods on inequalities in summer academic achievement and in turn how these seasonal inequalities exacerbate achievement gaps between African American and White students in reading and mathematics. The second paper asks what role race-ethnicity and academic ability (as measured by achievement tests) play in parent and student choices to enroll in charter public schools located in Indianapolis, Indiana. The final paper investigates educational reproduction of socioeconomic status by examining variation in mathematics teachers’ instructional practices and content by the socioeconomic status of the schools in which they are located.