High stakes in the classroom, high stakes on the street: The effects of community violence on students' standardized test performance

Patrick Sharkey, Amy Ellen Schwartz, Ingrid Gould Ellen, Johanna Lacoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article examines the effect of exposure to violent crime on students' standardized test performance among a sample of students in New York City public schools. To identify the effect of exposure to community violence on children's test scores, we compare students exposed to an incident of violent crime on their own blockface in the week prior to the exam to students exposed in the week after the exam. The results show that such exposure to violent crime reduces performance on English language arts assessments and has no effect on math scores. The effect of exposure to violent crime is most pronounced among African Americans and reduces the passing rates of black students by approximately 3 percentage points.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-220
Number of pages22
JournalSociological Science
Volume1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 27 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Academic performance
  • Community violence
  • Neighborhood effects
  • Racial disparities
  • School settings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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