The Achievement Gaps in the United States: Race, Poverty, and Interactions Over Ten Years

By Kristine David and Gregory Marchant.

Published by The International Journal of Assessment and Evaluation

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 26, 2015 $US5.00

Data from the U.S. National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) from 2000 to 2013 were investigated to determine progress in closing achievement gaps based on race, poverty, and their interaction for 4th and 8th grade reading and mathematics. Using individual level data, interactions were explored to determine differences based on poverty and gender for White, Black, and Hispanic students. Results demonstrated pervasive gaps with the biggest gaps for Black students. Black students have seen a slight, but consistent, decrease in achievement gaps with White students. Hispanic students have seen a major decrease in achievement gaps over time. Gender gaps for girls in math were negligible, but twice as large for boys in reading. Interactions indicated the greatest poverty gap was for White students, and the greatest gender gap was for Black students with girls outperforming boys in reading and even 4th grade mathematics. Race created larger gaps for Black students than poverty. The findings suggested that educational policy in the United States has done little to decrease achievement gaps, however focusing on poverty and the Black culture, would be advised.

Keywords: Achievement Gaps

The International Journal of Assessment and Evaluation, Volume 22, Issue 4, December, 2015, pp.1-15. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 26, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.608MB)).

Kristine David

Doctoral Student, Educational Psychology, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, USA

Dr. Gregory Marchant

Professor, Educational Psychology, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, USA