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This brief calculates graduation rates for the state of Florida using longitudinal data. We describe our measurement strategies and compare them with the state’s official measurement procedures. We calculate the diploma and GED attainment rates of six separate cohorts of Florida 9th graders who began high school between 1995/96 and 2000/01. We then present rates of both diploma receipt and GED receipt at four years and in later years. The results show an increasing trend in graduation rates in the state over the period studied and a substantial bump at five years, with growth flattening out after that time.
Using a unique longitudinal dataset covering all Florida public school students in grades 3–10 over a five-year period, we analyze the impact of classroom peers on individual student performance. Unlike many previous data sets used to study peer effects in education, our data allow us to identify each member of a given student's classroom peer group in elementary, middle and high school as well as the classroom teacher responsible for instruction. As a result, we can control for individual student fixed effects simultaneously with individual teacher fixed effects, thereby alleviating biases due to endogenous assignment of both peers and teachers, including some dynamic aspects of such assignments. We find some sizable, significant peer effects within nonlinear models, but not with linear specifications. We find peer effects depend on a student's own ability and on the ability of the peers under consideration. Peer effects tend to be smaller when teacher fixed effects are included, a result that suggests co-movement of peer and teacher quality within a student over time. We also find that peer effects tend to be stronger at the classroom level than the grade level.
This paper uses administrative data for the public K-12 schools of North Carolina to measure racial segregation in the public schools of North Carolina. Using data for the 2005/06 school year, the authors update previous calculations that measure segregation in terms of unevenness in racial enrollment patterns both between schools and within schools. They find that classroom segregation generally increased between 2000/01 and 2005/06, continuing, albeit at a slightly slower rate, the trend observed over the preceding six years. Segregation increased sharply in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, which introduced a new choice plan in 2002. Over the same period, racial and economic disparities in teacher quality widened in that district.
Citation: Charles Clotfelter, Helen Ladd, Jacob Vigdor (2008). School Segregation under Color-Blind Jurisprudence: The Case of North Carolina. CALDER Working Paper No. 16