Achievement Gaps: How Hispanic Students in Public Schools Perform in Mathematics and Reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress


Achievement Gaps coverThis
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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