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|Title:||Education, Political Ideology, and Academic Outcomes|
|Authors:||Gillion, Leah L|
|Publisher:||Princeton, NJ : Princeton University|
|Abstract:||Can the political leanings of communities and educators impact students’ educational advancement, and thus inequality? In the current political climate, race is a divisive issue that affects how policies are discussed, written, and passed. While the hope is that the political climate does not spill over into educational institutions, the reality is public education is a political institution. Given increased political polarization (Pew Research 2014), the dissertation explores the influence of political ideology on neighborhoods, schools, and individual educators. The study uses original experimental data and compiles several data sets to assess the political influence on student’s academic outcomes. The dissertation is divided into three empirical chapters. Chapter one lays the groundwork and shows there are measurable differences between Democrat and Republican leaning school districts in terms of spatial location, household characteristics, school budgets, and geographical shape. The second chapter identifies the ways in which the community’s political ideology are associated with students’ academic outcomes by examining the influence of the community’s political leanings on minority students’ ability to enroll in Advanced Placement courses (AP) or Gifted and Talented (GT) programs. Republican leaning school districts have lower placement rates of black students in AP and GT programs than Democrat leaning school districts net of a host of alternative explanations. The final chapter explores how the political ideology of individual educators can filter into the classroom to shape their perceptions of students’ academic ability for placement in academically challenging honors courses. Conservatives show a racial preference for advancing white students to honors classes over black and Hispanic students despite all students having the same exact academic and behavioral background. Liberals, in contrast, display a willingness to advocate for black students’ placement in honors class relative to white students, though this effect does not quite reach statistical significance. Nonetheless, the gap between black and white student’s placements among liberals is meaningful (17 percentage-points), which equates to black students recommended to honors class 33% more often than similar white students. The empirical analyses thus demonstrate that political ideology at the individual and community levels has profound effects on the educational outcomes and conditions experienced by minority students.|
|Alternate format:||The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog: catalog.princeton.edu|
|Type of Material:||Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)|
|Appears in Collections:||Sociology|
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