This report is part of a series of analyses of publicly available North Carolina Department of Public Instruction student achievement data, known as the disaggregated data files. These FERPA-compliant files contain data on all the state’s public traditional and charter schools beginning in school year 2013-14. My intent in this series is to provide the public with discussions of the usefulness of the NCDPI data, and with descriptive statistics that I feel may be of interest. I will not perform modeling or hypothesis testing.
In Grades 4 and 5, both Black and Hispanic students are more frequently in schools with lower percentages of AIG students. This is not a strong effect but it is more pronounced for Hispanics. Contrastingly, both White and Asian students are more frequently in schools with higher percentages of AIG students. This implies an opportunity equity deficit, although this data, taken alone, is not a strong determinant. As a reminder, the NCDPI publicly available data does not provide the number of AIG students by race (subgroup), so my results are inferences. That data does exist and should be analyzed to gain a better picture of AIG-related equity. It is evident that there are schools with markedly high and low percentages of AIG students over at least the past several years. The causes and consequences of this are surely of public interest but are not addressed in the NCDPI publicly available data.
The North Carolina legislature mandated supportive treatment of academically gifted students in its Article 9B https://ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/pdf/ByArticle/Chapter_115c/Article_9B.pdf The NCDPI disaggrgated data files do not break down numbers of AIG students by race. NCDPI describes its framework for implementing the legisture’s requirements at https://www.dpi.nc.gov/students-families/enhanced-opportunities/advanced-learning-and-gifted-education/academically-or-intellectually-gifted NCDPI provides summary data for LEAs, but not for schools, in a remarkably awkward format at https://files.nc.gov/dpi/documents/advancedlearning/aig/student-data/childcount/2018-19_lea_summary_.pdf
It has been reported in multiple studies that minority students are identified as AIG at lower rates than are White students. This report reviews data for individual Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools to compare AIG classification characteristics. I will look at grades 4 and 5. Grade 4 is the earliest that students are identified as AIG.
Remember that two points do not constitute a trend.
Figures 1 show percentage of AIG students for grades 4 and 5 by school across the years from 2013-14 to 2018-19. The plot for 681LEA is the average for each grade.
Figures 2 presents the same data as in Figures 1, but in a more informative fashion. Here, the plots show the difference between the percentage AIG and the average for that grade and year. It is evident that the Margaret Seawall school was consistently above all the other schools in percentage AIG for both grades.
Figure 3 shows the percentage composition of the schools aggregated for grades 3 through 5. The bars should of course all reach 100%, but to reduce clutter I have not shown the remaining portion, which is primarily Multiracial students. That there is a significant number of Multiracial students suggests that further exploration of this category is required within the customary single-race construction. A csv file containing percentages of students by race, and percentage AIG, by grade by school can be found here.
Figures 4 display the same data as in Figure 3, but only for one year, 2018-19. They explicitly compare grades 4 and 5 racial (subgroup) composition of the schools to the CH-C elementary school average for the grade (681LEA). For both grades, Northside (618300) had the lowest percentage AIG students and in both years the representation of races was reasonably comparable with the grade’s average (618LEA). Seawell (618310), with the highest percentage AIG students, in grade 4 had an over-representation of Asian students, typical portions of Black and Hispanic students, and a reduced proportion of White students. In grade 5, Seawell had a markedly elevated representation of White students, although this was comparable to the grade 5 average proportion of White students, this elevated proportion being absorbed by a decreased proportion of Asian students. The most notable differences between actual and average proportions are those for Asian students and Hispanic students.