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Daily Dish: New Studies of NAEP Data Reveal Achievement and Teacher Equity Gaps

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January 27, 2016 04:59 pm


A new report reveals startling data on the educational progress of traditionally underserved students in major metropolitan areas across the United States, USA Today reports. The study, released by the Center for American Progress (CAP), combined demographic data on students in twenty-one metro areas with scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test—also known as the “Nation’s Report Card”—which measures students’ reading and math skills, to show estimates of scores by student group.

The USA Today article includes several of these projections, including that:

  • If all of Detroit’s fourth graders took the NAEP tests, just 120 African American fourth graders would score proficient or above in math.
  • In Atlanta, just 60 Hispanic fourth graders and 40 Hispanic eighth graders would score proficient or above in reading.
  • In Cleveland, only about 30 Hispanic eighth graders and 80 African American eighth graders would be considered proficient in math.
  • In Baltimore, an estimated 60 Hispanic fourth grade students would score proficient in reading.

The report argues that higher standards have led to more student success. “The researchers suggest that cities and states that have committed to higher academic standards such as the heavily debated Common Core have seen ‘clear gains’ in student proficiency.” Examples given include Massachusetts, where reading proficiency scores of fourth graders jumped from 41 percent to 54 percent over a ten year period, and Florida, which had a similar increase meaning nearly 22,000 more fourth grade students scored proficient or higher in math.

View the full report:

Another recent analysis of NAEP data reveals that African American and Hispanic students have less experienced math teachers, Education Week reports. The new data shows that 36 percent of African American students and 33 percent of Hispanic students have a math teacher with five years or less experience teaching secondary math. On the other hand, only 27 percent of white students and 23 percent of Asian students had teachers with the same amount of experience. Ed Week notes that these results are not surprising, pointing to several studies that deal with this persisting gap in teacher equity.

The article also includes the below infographic of these findings. According to Bill Bushaw, executive director of the National Assessment Governing Board, the board intends to dive into the NAEP data, which is provided by students, teachers, and schools, to look for relationships and share the findings with the public.


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