Annie Delories Smith.

Impact of desegregation on Florida Statewide Twelfth Grade Achievement Test scores of black and white students in a rural and an urban Florida county / online

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symbols of attainment, authority and respect in Southern
Black communities" (p. 7). Poussaint (1970) stated that

since integration is nearly always a one- ^
way street that blacks travel to a white
institution, then an implied inferiority . , ,^3
of the black man is inherent in the situ-
ation, because it is he who must seek out , ..
whites to better his position. This im-
plies that only he can benefit and learn; . __,.
Ihat he has nothing to offer whites; that
blacks have nothing to offer ^^ites; that
whites have nothing to learn from his pres
ence. (p. 13)

Grain (1971) stated:

some proponents favor desegregation in order

to improve education for Negroes; others

favor it despite their belief that it is

irrelevant to the actual formal education

of the Negro; still others feel that any

effort. to integrate schools is time wasted

in a fruitless effort to obtain a symbolic

victory and urge that the same energies be^ __

transferred to improving the quality or

education in Negro schools, (p. D ; .;-:

one of the basic beliefs in American public edur
cation is that all children should have an equal opportun-
ity to attain an equal education. Educational opportuni-
ties for students differ widely from rural to urban com-
munities and from lower income communities and families
to affluent communities and families. Differences in


educational opportunities create differences in academic
achievement when measured by standardized instruments,
one of the major reasons for the creation and existence
of public schools has been to teach children skills such
as reading, writing, addition, subtraction and specific
concepts necessary for survival in society.

one way of assessing how well students have learned
these skills is by using achievement tests to measure
their performance in these areas, ^ Tests are -being used
more and more in America today. Tests are required in
order to gaik employment, entrance to college and even to
the armed services. Even though students enter :first
grade with 'different levels of skills and some leave
twelfth grade better equipped than others they are usu-
ally given identical standardized tests to measure their
achievement. The jobs acquired, colleges entered and at-
tainment of other goals are usually partially accomplished
based on standardized achievement test scores. Coleman
et al. (1966) stated that- there is probably a great dif- ,
ference in the validity of achievement tests as predictors
of future success in life for students in urban and rural _
environments! "There is^probably a great dif ference_ in the
validity of achievement tests as predictors of future suc-
cess in life for minority and majority students. _Fitz-
Gibbons (undated pamphlet) stated that "until fairly_


recently, most standardized tests were constructed by
white middle-class people, who sometimes clumsily violate
the feelings of the test-taker without even knowing it.
In a way, one could say that we have been not so much
culture biased as we' have been culture blind" (pp. 2-3).

Clark and Plotkin (1963) studied the academic
records of more that 500 black students that attended in-
tegrated colleges from 1952 through 1956. The aptitude
scores of the black students, as measured by the Scholastic
Achievement Test, were below the average of the national
college population. Yet, significantly more of them com-
pleted college with at least average grades than did the
total general population. Clark and Plotkin (1963) pointed
out that the performance of the students was far greater
than standardized tests had predicted.

Coleman et al. (1966) compared the achievement
levels of segregated and desegregated students. The re-
sults of the study in summary form were:

1. The proportion of white students in a school .
had a positive relationship toward students'
performance, however the effect appeared to
be less than, and largely accounted for, by
characteristics of the student body other
than racial composition.


2. The earlier black students began attending
schools with white students the higher black
students' achievement.

3. The majority of American children attend
schools that are segregated. Among the
minority groups, blacks are by far the most

4. Desegregation on the basis of race and socio-
economic class improves student achievement
under certain conditions and lowers achievement
under certain conditions. Educational achieve-
ment for both minorities and whites begins to
improve when schools are 50 percent white or
higher, and 50 percent middle class or above.
Both blacks and whites suffer in achievement
when the racial or class percentage drops
below 50 percent for either group.

5. White students' achievement is less affected
by school facilities, curriculum and teachers
than minority students' achievement.

6. The quality of the school attended by the
average black is lower than that attended
by the average white, but the difference is
less than generally assumed.

According to Jencks et al., the average white child
scores at least 15 points higher on most standardized tests


than the average black child. This is apparent among stu-
dents when they enter school and it persists throughout
school and college. Coleman et al. (1966) confirmed this
when they stated, "For example, Negroes in the metropolitan
Northeast are about 1.1 standard deviations below whites
in the same region at grades 6, 9 and 12. But at grade 6
this represents 1.6 years behind; at grade 9, 2.4 years;
and at grade 12, 3.3 years" (p. 21). It was further stated
that few opportunities are provided in schools for blacks
to overcome this difference in achievement test scores*
" . . .In fact they fall farther behind the white majority
in the development of several skills which are critical
to making a living and participating fully in modern
society" (p. 21) .

Armor (1972) in a reanalysis of the Coleman (1966)
data found black. schools were more disadvantaged than
white schools with respect to verbal achievement. The
findings are summarized as follows:

1. In the first grades average black achievement
in black schools is far behind white achieve-
ment in white schools, approaching 1.5 stan-
dard deviations in many regions.

2. In the sixth grades, the national averages
show that black achievement is two standard
deviations below white achievement.


3. The sixth grade black achievement within the
majority white schools is higher than black
achievement in majority black schools, but it
is still almost 1.5 standard deviations below
white achievement.
4. Although there are few whites in majority-
black schools, they show the lowest achievement
of any group. They have scores over 3 standard"
deviations lower than whites in majority-white
It is apparent from the findings of this study that black-
students lag behind whites in achievement even before they
start school. It seems they start- school at a disadvantage.
Subsequest analysis of the Coleman Report by McPart-
land (1969) lends support to the conclusions regarding the"
relationship between classroom composition and achievement.
McPartland (1969) found that school desegregation is
associated with higher achievement for black students if
they are in predominaritfy white classrooms. " Subsequent to the
findings of McPartland (1969) , Cohen et al. (1972)-^ ^
suggested that desegregation where minority group stu- "
dents were not a majority appeared to improve the level of
achievement for minorities. In both Pittsburg and Boston
St. John and Smith (1970), St. John and Lewis- (1971)
found arithmetic achievement related to the total number
of whites who had attended the school rather than the
current percent white.


Students of high ability level are generally more
ready to benefit from desegregation. According to Katz
(1964) a desegregated classroom is socially facilitating
to high achievers but threatening to low achievers, whose
probability of success is apt to be low and who often
fear failure. When studying the effects of integration
for previously segregated children, Denmark (1970) found
that segregated black children do not achieve academically
at the same level as white children and earlier desegre-
gation is more beneficial in improving test scores than
that which occurs in later school years. It was also
found that black females improve more than black males
in the integrated setting. Grain (1971), in a survey of
1,600 adult blacks living in the metropolitan Northeast,
found that the effects of integration are stronger for men
than for women. The northern and southern segregated
schools show that females have attained higher levels of
education than' males. There was also a large difference
between the test scores of desegregated and segregated ,.
females. Females in desegregated schools have a ten-
dency to attend school longer and learn "more" while they

are there.

Alan Luneman (1973) in a cross-sectional and semi-
longitudinal study in a Berkeley, Calif ornia, community
that desegregated voluntarily, found that ethnic groups
showed gains in achievement ranging from 1.6 to 5.3 points


on standardized achievement tests over a two-year period.
These gains are equivalent in grade placement of one to
four months. Black students who remained in the district
for the three-year period tended to score slightly higher
in the successive years of desegregation.

Two studies frequently referred to as evidence of
the beneficial effect of the desegregated school system
are Hansen's (1960) study in Washington, D.C., and Stalling's
(1959) study in Louisville. Hansen (1960) reported- that
after five years of desegregation, median city-wide' achieve-
ment improved at all grade levels and in most subject
areas for black children. White students also scored^ as
well as they had scored under segregated conditions; '-
Stallings (1959) in his report on academic achievement" of

black and white students both before and after desegre

gation found that the achievement of both groups was
significantly higher after desegregation than before and
that black students made greater gains than white students.
Justin and Thabit (1974) conducted a study on achievement
of black and white pupils before and after desegregation
in Broward County, Florida. Their findings showed that -
the scholastic achievement of black and white pupils de-
clined slightly initially but the decline was about the - -
same for blacks and whites and was noted as insignificant.

Samuels (1958) conducted a study" in Indiana - J
which sought to determine if learning proceeded at


comparable rates for black and white children when they
were first desegregated in junior high schools and when
black students in desegregated schools were compared with
those in segregated schools. Samuels attempted to con-
trol the variables of socioeconomic status and intelli-
gence. It was found that after two years of desegrega-
tion, the achievement gap between black and white stu-
dents had been reduced significantly. This finding was
attributed directly to desegregation.

Maynor and Katzenmeyer (1974) conducted a study
in Hoke County, North Carolina. The California Achieve-
ment Test was administered in grades six through 12 in
order to provide baseline data. The California Achieve- ■
ment' Test and the California Test of Mental Maturity were
administered as posttest measures. The findings showed
that black students performed better after desegregation
than they did before desegregation.

Faulk' (1972) reported that when desegregation took
place in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, in Shaw Elementary School
the black students at the desegregated school had an
average achievement gain, as measured by the Iowa Test of
Basic Skills, of nine months in a school year as compared
to ah average achievement gain of six months in a school
year at the predominantly black school. These data tend
to support the premise that achievement of black students
becomes higher in a desegregated school. As reported in


Racial Isolation in the Public Schools (1967) Wilson con-
ducted a study on the relationship between a student's
social class and school achievement. Wilson (1967) found
that social class was a major factor related to the aca-
demic achievement of children in elementary grades and
children from poorer backgrounds are less likely than
children from affluent backgrounds to have concrete plans
for college. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (1967)
pointed out that these results suggest that, "on the
average, the social class of a student has a strong re-
lationship to his academic success and aspirations"

(p. 81).

Taken together these studies seem quite consis-
tent. If desegregation over any length of time raises
black students' scores slightly perhaps the scores of
black students are continuing improving. Many of the
studies showed that desegregation is associated with
higher achievement test scores only if it involves socio-
economic as well as racial desegregation. There is
little evidence to show that black students' test scores
improve when the whites are as low on the socioeconomic
scale as blacks. Even though the academic achievement of
the black students is likely to improve when they attend
desegregated schools this has not eliminated the achieve-
ment gap.



This study investigated the impact of desegre-
gation on the Florida Statewide Twelfth Grade Achievement
Test scores of black and white students in a rural and an
urban Florida county.

The study does not lend itself to experimental
investigation; therefore, it is ex post facto. Kerlinger
(19 64) defines ex post facto research as a systematic
empirical inquiry in which the researcher has no direct
control of independent variables because their evidence
has already occurred. In an ex post facto study neither
experimental manipulation nor random assignment is pos-

There are eight groups in this study. Groups I
through IV, who were selected from rural and urban segre-
gated schools in 1962, will be compared with Groups V
through VIII, who were selected from rural and urban
desegregated schools in 1973. The year 1962 was chosen
because this was the last year that Florida Statewide



Twelfth Grade Achievement Test results were reported on
a segregated school basis. The year 1973 was selected
because this was the first year since 1962 that race of
the students was recorded along with test results.

There are three major types of comparison of the
Florida Statewide Twelfth Grade Achievement Test in this
study. The first type of comparison involves black stu-
dents only. The second type of comparison involves white
students only and the third type of comparison involves
black and white students.


This study involved a total of 1416 twelfth grade
students from four Florida high schools in two counties.
The schools were subdivided into four categories: (1)
urban segregated, (2) rural segregated, (3) urban- de-
segregated and (4) rural desegregated. The segregated
rural and urban schools were selected from schools that
were segregated during 1962. Of the four schools selected
the two black segregated schools were no longer in exis-
tence as senior high schools. This means that the only
schools used during 1973 were the white segregated schools
that -have since become desegregated.

A group of 37 black students and 151 white stu-
dents who had attended rural segregated high schools in


1962 were selected from two schools in the same county
based on the county's population. Then a group of 127
black students and 493 white students who attended urban
segregated schools in 1962 were selected from two schools
in the same county based on the county's population.

The next four groups were selected in much the
same manner as the first four, with the major differences
being the time of attendance, 1973, and both black and
white students attended the same desegregated schools.

The 37 black students that comprise Group I
weire seniors in school A, a rural black segregated school
in 1962. The 151 white students who comprise Group II
were seniors in school B, a rural white segregated school
in 1962. The 127 black students that make up Group III
were seniors at school C, an urban black segregated school
in 1962. The 493 white students that are in Group IV
were seniors at school D, an urban white segregated school
in 1962. The 37 black students in Group I and the 151
white students in Group II are from schools A and B lo-
cated within the same county. The 127 black students in
Group III and the 493 white students in Group IV are from
schools C and D, located within the same county.

Group V consists of 93 black students in school D,
a previously segregated white urban school that is pres-
ently desegregated. Group VI consists of 52 black students
in school B, a formerly white rural segregated school


that is presently desegregated. Group VII is made up of
334 white students in school D, a previously white,
urban segregated school that is presently desegregated.
Group VIII consists of 129 white students in school B, a
previously segregated white rural school that is presently
desegregated. The black students in Group V and the white
students in Group VII are from school D, the same urban
desegregated school. The black students in Group VI and
the white students in Group VIII are from school B, the
same rural desegregated school.

In testing the eight groups for differences the
results from the 1962 and 1973 Florida Statewide Twelfth
Grade Test were used.


School D is an urban desegregated high school that
has a total population of 1,800 students in grades 10
through 12. The school was constructed in the early 1900 's
and was attended by predominantly upper middle class whites
until 1970 when the school desegregated in compliance with
a court order. School D is presently 17 percent black
and 83 percent white. This percentage reflects the black-
white ratio of the community. The students who attend
this high school come from four desegregated junior high


School B is a rural desegregated high school which
has a total population of 1100 students in grades nine
through 12. The school was constructed in the early 1900 's
and served the entire white county high school population
until 1970 when a court order forced the school to desegre-
gate. The school is presently 22 percent black and 78
percent white. The students who attend this high school
come from desegregated junior high schools.


The instrument chosen for use in the present study
was inaugurated in Florida in 1935 and since' 1940 has been
sponsored and conducted by the Board of University Exami-
ners. During 1962 the A.C.E. Psychological Examination,
1953 High School Edition; Cooperative English B2, Effec-
tiveness of Expression, Form Y; Cooperative General -_ : -
Achievement, Form YZ— Social Studies, Natural Sciences
and Mathematics tests were used. These instruments were
validated by commercial testing companies and, approyed by-.s
the Board of University Examiners.- Since 1963, . Educational
Testing Service of Princeton, New Jersey has prepared, and
validated special tests for the_ Florida program^ i... ._— .-

The Florida Statewide Twelfth Grade Testing Pro-
gram is conducted in all Florida high schools each fall, to
provide comparable ability and achievement data on all


seniors. The test is administered by the pupil personnel
staff in the schools. Florida seniors must attain a score
of 300 or above on the test in order to attend a state


The complete battery consists of two booklets, in-
cluding tests in five areas and the questionnaire. Table
1 shows the composition of each booklet, an indication of
the test content, the number of items for each tests, and
the time necessary to administer each section. However,
after 1970 the Florida Statewide Twelfth Grade Achievement
Test became optional rather than required for students.
Therefore, some students choose not to take the test
based on their future plans.

Scoring Procedures and Statistical Analysis

The answer sheets are processed at the University
of Florida campus. All the tests are scored on a "Rights
Only" basis— that is, an individual gets one point for .
each item answered correctly. There are eight scores
derived from the test battery. These are: Verbal Apti- :.-
tude. Quantitative Aptitude, Total Aptitude, English,
Mathematics, Natural Sciences, .and Social Studies. In
addition, a Reading Index is computed by combining the
score on the Verbal Aptitude test plus one-half the scores
obtained on the English and Social Studies tests.


Table 1
Composition of the Test Battery


student Questionnaire
Aptitude Test

English Composition


Natural Sciences

Social Studies


Verbal Analogies
Math Comparison


and punctuation
Effectiveness of

Algebra, Geometry

Biology, Chemistry
Earth Science,

American History,
Western Civiliza-
tion, Geography,







20 min.


20 min


20 min


15 min


10 min


15 min

40 min.

40 min.

40 min.

The statewide norm for the 1973 administration of
the battery is found in Table 2. The information included
in Tables 1 and 2 is based on the 1973 Florida Statewide
Twelfth Grade Achievement Test. The same kind of infor-
mation is not available for the 1962 Florida Statewide
Twelfth Grade Achievement Test.



















































Data Collection

The Board of University Examiners at the Uni-
versity of Florida, Gainesville, Florida is responsible
for disseminating, scoring, collecting and storing data
for the Florida Statewide Twelfth Grade Testing Program.
The data were collected from the test record books and
computer tapes stored by the Board of University Exami-
ners, Room 408, Seagle Building, Gainesville, Florida.

The data for this study were obtained from the
test results of the senior high school students who
comprise the eight designated groups. Data were se-
lected based on county and school area population in 1962
and the number of black and white students who attended '
county schools in 1962. Any county with a school popula-
tion of less than 30 black or white students in the county
or in one school was excluded from selection. Based
on county and school population two counties and four
schools were selected by chance. Data from students
with less than five complete test scores was not used.

Data Analysis

The results of the Florida Statewide Twelfth Grade
Achievement Test were used as a basis for determining
and comparing the impact of desegregation on achievement.
A percentile rank based on the raw score was recorded for


the five separate subtests from which a total composite
score was computed for each student.

The nine hypotheses are the result of taking all
possible combinations of race, residence and school type.
A 2 X 2 X 2 factorial analysis of variance design was
used to compare and assess all of the variables and inter-
actions simultaneously. This design makes it possible to
assess the main effects of race, residence and school type
on the Florida Statewide Twelfth Grade Achievement Test
and it will also give information about interactions be-
tween race, residence and school type. The design will
answer the following questions: What is the main effect
of achievement scores of segregated and desegregated stu-
dents? what is the main effect on achievement scores of
rural and urban students? What is the main effect on
achievement scores of black and white students?

When the three independent variables: race, resi-
dence and school type interact in their "effect" on achieve-
ment this is called interaction. The design answers
the following questions regarding interaction: What is
the interaction effect of race and residence on achievement

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Online LibraryAnnie Delories SmithImpact of desegregation on Florida Statewide Twelfth Grade Achievement Test scores of black and white students in a rural and an urban Florida county / → online text (page 2 of 5)