Ordinal Approaches to Decomposing Between-group Test Score Disparities

Citation:

Quinn, D. M., & Ho, A. D. (2020). Ordinal Approaches to Decomposing Between-group Test Score Disparities. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics.

Abstract:

The estimation of test score “gaps” and gap trends plays an important role in monitoring educational inequality. Researchers decompose gaps and gap changes into within- and between-school portions to generate evidence on the role schools play in shaping these inequalities. However, existing decomposition methods assume an equal-interval test scale and are a poor fit to coarsened data such as proficiency categories. This leaves many potential data sources ill-suited for decomposition applications. We develop two decomposition approaches that overcome these limitations: an extension of V, an ordinal gap statistic, and an extension of ordered probit models. Simulations show V decompositions have negligible bias with small within-school samples. Ordered probit decompositions have negligible bias with large within-school samples but more serious bias with small within-school samples. More broadly, our methods enable analysts to (1) decompose the difference between two groups on any ordinal outcome into portions within- and between some third categorical variable and (2) estimate scale-invariant between-group differences that adjust for a categorical covariate.

Publisher's Version

Last updated on 11/13/2020