Survey Reveals Black Parents Show More Concern When Children Test Low

Survey Reveals Black Parents Show More Concern When Children Test Low

Compared to white and Latino parents, Black parents showed more concern when their children tested lower.

A new report revealed that Black parents are more likely to act if their children were to perform poorly on math test scores.

According to a recent Gallup-Learning Heroes study, the gap between parents’ perceptions of their child’s performance may be widest among Black and Hispanic parents. Considering that 73% of Black parents are confident that their children score Bs or better, compared to 75% of Hispanic parents, research supports that the academic achievements of students of color are lower than other groups.

“When parents can consider information beyond report card grades, including data from various standardized tests, they have a more complete picture of their child’s academic progress,” according to the report.

In the study, survey respondents had to assume that their children brought home a B in math and had scored below grade level on two standardized math tests. Results showed that nearly three-quarters of Black parents (72%) reported that they would be “extremely or very concerned” about the low performance, compared to Hispanic and white parents (56% and 52%, respectively).

In response, Black parents reported a higher likelihood to “definitely” take action than the national average of parents. For instance, 81% said they would advocate support with teachers, and 80% said they would inquire about their child’s math grade level status.

On the other hand, 57% of Black parents reported they would access free online learning resources to help their children, 25% would get an in-school tutor, and 17% would prefer a private tutor.

Hispanic parents also report a greater likelihood of taking action, particularly accessing free online resources (48% vs. 38%) and getting an in-school (33% vs. 25%) or private (24% vs. 17%) tutor.

“While 89% of parents of all racial and ethnic backgrounds report their child is performing at or above grade level in math, less than half of White fourth graders (48%) and less than one-quarter of Black (15%) and Hispanic (22%) fourth graders score as proficient or better in math,” Gallup reported based on scores on The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

National assessment data indicate a significant decline in math scores for Black 13-year-olds than white 13-year-olds between the 2019-2020 and 2022-2023 school years.

As the performance perception is widest among students of color, Gallup suggested parents evaluate their child’s performance using data from standardized tests, year-end tests, and other exams to “fully understand their child’s achievement.” The report also considered that standardized tests have been under deep study and controversy for their racial and cultural biases against mainly Black and Hispanic students. This note highlights its impact on the perceived learning gap and limits performance-based opportunities for students of color.