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After the U.S. Supreme Court restricted the use of race in assigning students to schools, there was a surge in advocacy of school integration based on student socioeconomic status (SES). Benefits of socioeconomic integration have been supported by various studies finding significant effects of school SES on achievement after controlling for individual student SES. This article investigates school SES effects using statewide longitudinal achievement data from several U.S. states. School SES effects nearly vanish after controlling for a student’s prior achievement or, alternatively, controlling for stable differences among students using fixed effects models. The article concludes that large school SES effects often found in cross-sectional studies are artifacts of aggregation and are not a sound basis for SES-based school integration policies.

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Journal Article

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