Hispanic Students And the Achievement Gap
This week, the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) released a report that showed Hispanic students still lag significantly in educational achievement behind their white counterparts.
The achievement gap between Hispanics and Whites remains unchanged since 1990. Time Magazine analyzes the scores, saying the implications are especially troublesome because the Hispanic population is poised to grow significantly.
The three states with the largest achievement gaps were California, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
The city with the largest achievement gap was Washington D.C., The Washington Times reports that Hispanic fourth-graders are 49 points behind white students in reading and 43 points back in math.
The main reason cited for the gap is the language barrier for Hispanic students. The test, administered by the National Center for Education Statistics, an arm of the U.S. Department of Education, was composed of scores in math and reading at the 4th and 8th grade level. 43 to 47 states were tested in each subject at the 4th and 8th grade levels.
The broad finding of the NCES tests is that at the national level, achievement gaps between Hispanic and White students at grades 4 and 8 in mathematics and reading is about 20 points on the NAEP scale. The results are significant because the Hispanic population continues to grow–with 21 percent of the nation’s fourth graders now of Hispanic descent.
These findings are also critical because they raise concerns about wide-ranging education issues as varied as school budgets to bilingual education. The comment boards are abuzz, with many taking on the question of how to close the gap. Join in on the discussion–what do you think of these findings?
For more analysis of the achievement gap, visit the NCES.