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Fourth Grade

Among fourth graders who scored below the 25th percentile in math, 31 percent were
White, 28 percent were Black, 34 percent were Hispanic and 2 percent were Asian.
Seventy-four percent were eligible for free or reduced price school lunches, 24
percent were identified as students with disabilities and 22 percent were English
language learners.
Among the fourth graders who scored above the 75th percentile, 72 percent were
White, 5 percent were Black, 10 percent were Hispanic and 10 percent were Asian.
Twenty-three percent were eligible for free or reduced price lunches, 4 percent were
identified as students with disabilities and 3 percent were English language learners.

Eighth Grade

Of the eighth graders who scored below the 25th percentile in math, 33 percent were
White, 28 percent Black, 32 percent Hispanic and 2 percent Asian. Sixty-eight percent
were eligible for free or reduced price school lunches, 25 percent were identified as
students with disabilities and 15 percent were English language learners.
Of the eighth graders who scored above the 75th percentile, 72 percent were White, 5
percent were Black, 11 percent were Hispanic and 10 percent were Asian. Twenty
percent were eligible for free or reduced price lunches, 2 percent were identified as
students with disabilities and 1 percent were English language learners.

Race

At the fourth grade level, the average gap in scores between White and Black students
was 25 points, with Whites scoring better on average. Between Whites and Hispanics,
the gap was 20 points, again with Whites scoring higher. Asian and Pacific Islander
students scored 7 points higher than White students. American Indian/Alaska Native
students scored 25 points lower than Whites.
In eighth grade, the average gap between scores for Whites and Blacks was 19 points,
with Whites scoring higher. The gap between White and Hispanic students was 23
points, again in favor of Whites. Asian/Pacific Islander students scored 10 points
higher than Whites, and American Indian and Alaska Native students scored an
average of 28 points lower.

Public vs. Private Schools

There was a difference of 13 points in the average scores of public and private school
eighth-grade students and a difference of 7 points for fourth-grade students. At both
grade levels, private school students scored higher. These statistics do not indicate
large differences, but they do support the finding that more affluent students do better
than less affluent students.

Conclusion

Achievement gaps in math exist at the fourth- and eighth-grade levels, with Whites
doing significantly better than Blacks, Hispanics and American Indian and Alaska
Native students. Asian and Pacific Islander students did slightly better than Whites.
Free and reduced price lunch, used as a measure of socio-economic status, was
predictive of poorer performance in math. Students with disabilities tended to do less
well on the test compared to students with no disabilities, as did students for whom
English is a second language compared with those for whom English is the first
language. No significant achievement gap based on gender was identified, but
researchers have found some difference between public school and private school
students, with private school students outperforming their public school peers.

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ools.html