Thursday, January 14, 2016
The achievement gap between white students and black students has barely narrowed over the last 50 years, despite nearly a half century of supposed progress in race relations and an increased emphasis on closing such academic discrepancies between groups of students
In the 1960's, in both math and reading, the average black student in grade 12 placed in the 13th percentile of the score distribution, meaning that 87% of white students in grade 12 scored ahead of the average black 12th grader. Fifty years later, that gap has barely narrowed. The average 12th grade black student, according to data from the 2013 National Assessment for Educational Progress, placed only in the 19th percentile. In reading, the achievement gap has improved slightly more than in math, but after a half century, the average black student scores at just the 22nd percentile. If the achievement gaps continue close at such an incremental rate, it will be roughly two and a half centuries before the black-white math gap closes and over one and a half centuries until the reading gap closes.