Friday, April 3, 2015
The District of Columbia produces the largest reading and math proficiency gaps in the nation, in regards to white fourth graders and their non-white Hispanic and black counterparts, while the opposite is true of states like Louisiana
The Hispanic-white gap is narrower than the black-white gap, but disparities persist for Latinos. Among U.S. Latinos students, advancements in reading can be attributed to increased English language proficiency among ESL students. The Hispanic-white gap has improved in grades four and eight in 32 out of 47 states, according to a recently published report. Nonetheless, reading proficiency gaps persist in areas such as the District of Columbia, where 22.8% of Hispanic fourth-grade students versus 76.6% of white students are reading proficient. Math proficiency gaps also continue to exist in the District of Columbia, where only 14.7% of African-American fourth graders, 23.3% of Hispanic fourth graders and 87.7% of white fourth graders are reading proficient. In Kentucky, the Hispanic-white reading proficiency gaps are narrower, where 29.4% of Hispanics and 39.2% of whites proved to be proficient in reading. When it comes to math proficiency, the Hispanic-white gap improved in just 13 of 47 states, compare that to only nine of 45 states for the black-white math proficiency gap. Louisiana presents the narrowest math proficiency gap among fourth graders, with 28.9% of Hispanics versus 40% of white students testing at or above proficient in math. At the same time, the District of Columbia shows 23.3% of Hispanics and 87.7% of whites tested at or above proficient in math. The median household incomes of Latinos are closest to whites in areas in Florida, such as Deltona, where Hispanic household make 97 cent for each dollar. And the widest gaps exist in Hartford, Connecticut, where there's a difference of 40 cents. The lowest Hispanic median household income is in Springfield, Massachusetts, ($24,781) and the highest is in Washington, D.C. ($65,736). Nationally, unemployment and income disparities between Latinos and whites have narrowed more than it has between black and whites during economic recovery, but there are pronounced Latino unemployment rates in some areas. Consistent with the findings present about the widest Hispanic-white immigration gaps, the largest Hispanic-white immigration gap is in the District of Columbia. Just 58.5% of Hispanics freshmen graduate compared to 87.8% of whites. The smallest gap exists in Maine, where 96.1% of Hispanic freshmen graduate, compared to 84.4% of whites. Higher graduation rates also exist in Louisiana, New Hampshire, Hawaii and Arkansas. The smallest gaps tend to exist in states where the non-white population is small and where the test scores are also fairly low for the white student population. And the larger gaps are generally present in large urban areas with large non-white populations.