1. Changing racial identity by moving across state lines literally happened to the former Dean of Ohio State Law School . For a narrative on his life history and experience dealing with the malleability and ambiguity of American racial categories see: Beyond the Color Line.
2. I am not implying that the physical differences associated with race -- skin color, hair texture, etc. are irrelevant, rather I am arguing that the social significance associated with these differences varies over time. For a discussion on how phenotype and the physical characteristics associated with race relate to the idea that race can be regarded as a social construct see by Edward Fergus.
3. For the purpose of this paper I will use the term Black rather than African American to identify students of African descent because the term Black includes students of African and Caribbean heritage. In many school districts data on student performance do not draw distinctions within racial groups based on immigration status or national origin.
4. District names are pseudonyms
5. The finding does not suggest that the students who did not pass at the Regents level were not eligible to graduate as the Local Diploma option was available for those students who did not score at the passing mark on the Regents exams. Students who earned a Regents Diploma, however, were more competitive applicants for college admission than students earning Local Diplomas.
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