Achievement Gap Persists Among Black, White Students
Though reading and math scores improved for black adolescents in public schools, a recent federal study has found that the achievement gap between black and white students remains wide.
Based on a 500-point scale, black students scored about 28 points lower than white students on their reading and math tests, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.
The center’s findings were based on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a federal measure of student achievement in reading, math, and science, with figures from 1992 to 2007.
The report constitutes the first major one conducted by the Education Department since President Barack Obama took office.
A separate report comparing Hispanic and white children is due out next fall.
Highlights of the report include:
At the eighth grade level, mathematics gaps existed in 2007 in the 41 states for which results were available. The gaps were narrower in 2007 than in 1990 in four states: Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas. In all four, scores for both black and white students increased, but scores for black students had a higher increase.
Reading gaps at that level existed in 2007 in 41 of the 42 states for which results were available. In Hawaii, the 7-point difference between black and white students’ scores in 2007 was not statistically significant, and thus there was no gap for Hawaii. There was no significant change in the gap in any state from 1998 to 2007.