Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Science Achievement Gaps by Race/Ethnicity and Gender in Kindergarten and First Grade

Disparities in science achievement across race and gender have been well documented in secondary and postsecondary school; however, the science achievement gap in the early years of elementary school remains understudied.

This study presents findings from the recently released Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010–2011 that demonstrate significant gaps in science achievement in kindergarten and first grade by race/ethnicity.

The authors estimate the Black-White science gap in kindergarten at –.82 SD but find only a small gender gap by first grade. Large disparities between Asian student performance in science as compared to mathematics and reading are documented. Student background characteristics and school fixed effects explain nearly 60% of the Black-White and Hispanic-White science achievement gaps in kindergarten.

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