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Journal Article

Measuring School Racial Composition and Student Outcomes in a Multiracial Society

Michal Kurlaender and John T. Yun
American Journal of Education
Vol. 113, No. 2 (February 2007), pp. 213-242
DOI: 10.1086/510166
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/510166
Page Count: 30
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Measuring School Racial Composition and Student Outcomes in a Multiracial Society
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Abstract

This article examines the challenges of measuring school racial composition in a multiracial society, particularly the difficulty in specifying school racial composition when there are large numbers of students representing multiple racial groups. We employ two specifications of school racial composition to illustrate the strengths, weaknesses, and challenges of each approach and discuss how alternative conceptualizations of school racial composition contribute to the literature on the benefits of school desegregation and diversity. We analyze survey data from three large urban school districts and investigate a nonacademic outcome with important social implications—comfort working with people of a racial group different from one’s own.

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