Biracial Black-White, NAEP; HBD uncertainty

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6 Responses to Biracial Black-White, NAEP; HBD uncertainty

  1. JL says:

    I did a cross-tab query in the NAEP Data Explorer of grade 8 math scores (2011) of those who identify as both black and multiracial. The average was 278, whereas the white average was 295 and the black average 263. The mixed-race-white gap is as predicted by the hereditarian model.

    Some other results for grade 8 math:

    Mixed-race Asians 299
    Unmixed Asians 308
    Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders 271
    Hispanics 272

    However, I’m not sure if both of those cross-tabbed race questions were asked from everybody, so the sample sizes may be low. The standard errors were small, though.

    Looking quickly at grade 8 reading and grade 4 math (the results of which you listed above), I get the following:

    Grade 8 reading
    Mixed-race blacks 259

    Grade 4 math:
    Mixed-race blacks 239

    • JL says:

      I’m not quite sure how the race variables should be interpreted.

      You can do a cross-tab of those who identify as both white and black. The mean is 279 for grade 8 math. This would suggest that the “white” and “black” variables include also mixed-race individuals, and to get the means of unmixed groups, you should not use those variables. (The Asian-white mixed-race mean is 298, BTW.) Using the variable labeled “Race/ethnicity using 2011 guidelines, student-reported”, you get these mean values.

      • Chuck says:


        Great find. I see that there is also information concerning nativity. And that one can link to the international explorer here. Awesome.

        As for mixed race data, let’s limit our discussion to 2011 Grade 8 math. It seems there are two race variables “school (i.e., parent) reported race” and “self-reported race.” The cross tab searches that you’re doing are based on self-report. Do a cross tab for school and self reported race using the 2011 definitions. This is what I get: (Rounding, and deriving N for S.E and SD)

        (Rounding and using DRACE10)
        Self White/Parent White: 276
        Self White: 276
        Parent White: 274

        Self White/Parent Black 248
        Self Black: 249
        Parent Black: 249

        Parent 2more races: 269 (SE= 1.186, SD=34.12)
        derived N= 827
        Self 2more races: 267 (SE=.694, SD=32.24)
        derived N= 2158
        Self/Parent 2more races: 273 (SE= 1.405, SD=32.48) derived N= 534

        SelfWhite/Parent Black: 253 (SE=3.979, SD=37.11)
        derived N=89
        SelfBlack/ParentWhite: 258 (SE=2.191, SD=31.98)
        derived N=213
        Self 2more/Parent Black: 257 (SE=.993, SD=30.73)
        derived N=957
        SelfBlack/Parent 2more: 261 (3.577, SD=35.67)
        derived N=99


        Self report alone looks like a unreliable indictor. Using self report (White, Black) we get:

        White (variable BA21201): 272
        Black (variable BB21201): 250
        Cross tab: 258 (SE=1.105, SD=31.91)
        derived N: 834


        Anyways, so why was my original surmise so off?

      • Chuck says:


        When replying, let’s make sure to specify the variables used. There are 1/2 a dozen race variables:

        Black (chose one or more)
        Which of the following best describes you? Fill in one or more ovals. Black or African American (student-reported)
        ID: BB21201

        Race/ethnicity that best describes you
        Full Title: Which [race/ethnicity] best describes you? (One of two questions combined to produce self-reported student race/ethnicity.) (student-reported)
        ID: B003001

        Full Title: Which [race/ethnicity] best describes you? (Results from this question are combined with other data to produce racial/ethnic categories for NAEP reports.) (student-reported)
        ID: B008201

        Race/ethnicity using 2011 guidelines, student-reported
        Full Title: Race/ethnicity based on student responses to two background questions; organized according to OMB guidelines introduced in the 2011 assessment, with an option to choose more than one race and a Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander category that is separate from Asian; variable not used in NAEP reporting
        ID: DRACE10

        Race/ethnicity allowing multiple responses, student-reported
        Full Title: Race/ethnicity based on student responses to two background questions with an option to choose more than one race; data for Asian and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander categories are combined; variable not used in NAEP reporting
        ID: DRACEM

      • Chuck says:

        In my most recent analysis, I might have been using reading instead of math.

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