The impact of school desegregation on White individuals' racial attitudes and politics in adulthood. [Job Market Paper]
Abstract: In this paper I study the impact of court-mandated school desegregation, which began in the late 1950s, on White individuals’ racial attitudes and politics in adulthood. Using geocoded nationwide data from the General Social Survey, I compare outcomes between respondents living in the same county who were differentially exposed to desegregated schools, based on respondent age and the year of court-mandated integration. With this differences-in-differences approach, I find that exposure to desegregated schools increased White individuals’ conservatism and negatively impacted their racial attitudes and support for policies promoting racial equity, such as affirmative action. Heterogeneity analyses indicate that effects are particularly pronounced in counties where opposition to integration was strongest: Southern counties desegregating after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and counties where support for the Democratic presidential candidate between the 1960 and 1968 elections substantially decreased. My study provides causal evidence for key tenets of the contact hypothesis, which theorizes that Black-White contact in integrated schools can improve outgroup racial attitudes only under certain conditions, including when this intergroup contact has institutional support.
The impact of political party control on education finance and outcomes: Evidence from U.S. states. (with Lena Shi)
Abstract: Given states’ balanced budget requirements, investment decisions often involve trade-offs between policymakers’ budget priorities. Does political party control affect investment decisions and outcomes? Using a regression discontinuity design based on close state elections between 1984-2013, we find that marginally Democratic legislatures spend more on higher education but less on K-12 education. Rather than trading off within the education budget, policymakers trade education and welfare, particularly in liberal and high-poverty states. Increases in local revenue offset party differences in K-12 spending, suggesting that policymakers make trade-offs by considering the availability of external budget sources and how investments respond to constituents’ needs.
The effect of English learner reclassification on student achievement and noncognitive outcomes.
Abstract: English learners’ (ELs) day-to-day experiences in school change when reclassified as fully English proficient. Prior research, however, is mixed on how reclassification influences outcomes. Many studies also do not or cannot explore key long-term outcomes or identify impacts over time. In this study I leverage longitudinal student data in a regression discontinuity and find that reclassification after third grade affects ELs’ achievement in the short and longer term. Reclassified ELs score considerably higher on mathematics and reading standardized tests in fifth and eighth grade. I also provide the first causal evidence for the impact of reclassification on several theoretically affected noncognitive outcomes. I find that reclassification substantially lowers the level of challenge for work assigned by teachers and increases ELs’ out-of-school engagement in the short term. However, effects on noncognitive outcomes attenuate or reverse direction in the longer term. Together, these findings highlight the need for evaluations to consider multiple measures and to identify impacts over time when possible, especially when data on long-term outcomes such as high school graduation, college persistence, or labor market success are unavailable.
Other Representative Publications
An experimental evaluation of three teacher quality measures: Value-added, classroom observations, and student surveys. (with Andrew Bacher-Hicks, Tom Kane, and Doug Staiger)
Bias in the air: A nationwide exploration of teachers' implicit racial attitudes, aggregate bias, and student outcomes. (with Dave Quinn, Tasminda Dhaliwal, and Virginia Lovison)
Police or community bias? Predictors of Black-White differences in police use of lethal force. (with Andrew Bacher-Hicks and Elijah de la Campa)
Links: Coming soon.
School district reform in Newark: Within- and Between-school changes in achievement growth. (with Tom Kane, Whitney Kozakowski, Beth Schueler, and Doug Staiger)