Abstract: Achievement disparities among racial and ethnic groups persist in the American education system.
The NCES excludes teacher wages from the CWI calculation to avoid confusing a district’s commitment to education funding with general cost-of-living differences. Living expenses can still vary within markets, sometimes considerably.
Since unequal funding for minority students is largely a myth, it cannot be a valid explanation for racial and ethnic differences in school achievement, and there is little evidence that increasing public spending will close the gaps.
In 2009, white public school eighth-graders outscored their black classmates by one standard deviation (equivalent to roughly two and a half years of learning) on the math portion of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test. Racial differences in achievement like this one are pervasive in the U. education system, and the gaps have persisted for decades.
Darling-Hammond, for example, has written extensively on specific inputs, particularly teacher certifications, that tend to be lower in schools with large minority populations.
But deficiencies in certain resources do not necessarily indicate an overall disparity.
While many commentators blame the achievement gap on alleged disparities in school funding, this Heritage Foundation paper demonstrates that public education spending per pupil is broadly similar across racial and ethnic groups.