Saturday, June 30, 2007

No Benefits of College Completion for African-Americans?

Ok, this is crazy. I was exploring the NAEP Data Explorer today and ran across a really unexpected statistic.

I know its hard to read, but the average scale score for blacks whose parents completed college is 246, compared to 251 for blacks whose parents have "some education after High School".

Yes I did check, and the difference is significant (at least according to the NAEP website).

I am at a total loss to even attempt to explain these results. Anyone have any guesses?

Update: I realized I didn't describe the results. Well this artifact shows up in 8th grade reading and math and holds true for Blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians.


allenm said...

The "some education after High School" parents are in a better position to appreciate the value of education then the parents who take the advantages conferred by a good education as a matter of course?

Joanne Jacobs said...

"Parental education" means mother's education: Since so many children (of all races) aren't growing up with their father and most kids do grow up with their mother, these surveys always use mother's education.

I'm also puzzled at the results. Is it possible that college-educated black women are more likely than "some college" women to be single parents because of the shortage of college-educated black men? (The gap isn't as wide for Hispanics, I think.) I don't know.

TurbineGuy said...


I would have to see statistics, but I am guessing that among college graduates that there wouldn't be much of a difference in Marriage rates between groups, then again I could be wrong. Besides, it shows up for Hispanics and American Indians as well.

It is rather vexing... I googled it for hours and haven't even found it mentioned.


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