Representative Bureaucracy and Harder Questions: A Response to Meier, Wrinkle, and Polinard



In an article in the November 1999 issue of this journal, Meier, Wrinkle, and Polinard reach the tantalizing conclusion that increases in the representation of minority teachers in the public school bureaucracy actually enhance the academic achievement of both minority and Anglo groups of students. However, diagnostic and statistical tests on their data suggest that their analysis may suffer from specification, selection, and categorization limitations. When corrections for these problems are introduced into the analysis, the results that are the basis for the Meier, Wrinkle, and Polinard conclusions change significantly, thereby undermining our confidence in the validity of their claims.