The achievement gap in black and white

It’s official. Lots of children are left behind. The “nation’s report card” -- the National Assessment of Educational Progress — is out today, showing the U.S. trailing other nations when it comes to knowledge of science. Science often plays a different fiddle to math and reading in test scores.

While the U.S. ranking compared to other countries is getting the lion’s share of attention, the tragedy of the achievement gap isn’t getting anywhere near the same amount of notice.

Here, for example, are the test scores by ethnicity for the fourth grade:

science_scores.jpg

In Minnesota, black student had an average score that was 36 points lower than white students. That’s not much different than the national average, even though Minnesota’s overall scores were slightly higher than the national average.

  • John P.

    It’s a shame. The trouble is I still don’t feel I have an understanding of what the reason is. I hear lots of opinions. Poor parenting, nutrition, lack of funding, culture, all get blamed at some point or another. Maybe it’s all of those things. I don’t know what to believe. Is there any good objective study on this?

  • Grant

    I’d suggest it’s quite cultural–we place no emphasis on education. If it’s not valued to society nor by parents, it will not be valued by the students…leading to this poor report card.

    I would love to see it change…but I”m not sure where to start. Maybe a teaching reality show?

    On the other hand, go N.D.–pretty good results, and I’m very curious about the South Vs North above/below disparity. I’m hoping someone does more analysis on that.

  • Matt S.

    I’m not sure this statement is accurate, “The “nation’s report card” — the National Assessment of Educational Progress — is out today, showing the U.S. trailing other nations when it comes to knowledge of science.” It looks like the NAEP only tests children in the U.S. and can be used as a comparison for States, but not as a comparison between the U.S. and other countries.