Achievement Gaps: How Hispanic Students in Public Schools Perform in Mathematics and Reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress
This federal analysis finds that Hispanic students have made considerable leaps in fourth- and eighth-grade math and have also progressed in reading: Since 1990, their fourth-grade math scores have shot up twenty-eight points. (To put this in context, a ten-point jump on the 500-point scale is equivalent to about one grade level of increased learning.) Eighth-grade scores in math jumped twenty-one points. In reading, scores for both fourth and eighth graders bumped up ten points since 1992. Still, these gains didn’t narrow the achievement gap because white students progressed even faster in math and at about the same rate in reading. The media reported this analysis as a glass-half-empty story, focusing on the lack of progress in closing the gap. We tend to favor the half-full view: Both Hispanic and white youngsters have made big gains over the past two decades. That’s worth celebrating.
National Center for Education Statistics, “Achievement Gaps: How Hispanic and White Students in Public Schools Perform in Mathematics and Reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress,” (Washington, D.C.: Institute of Education Sciences, June 2011).
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