Thursday, April 13, 2017
Shrinking, but Persisting, Achievement Gaps
Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast used data from Florida, Mississippi, and North Carolina to examine school-level trends in reading and math proficiency rates across multiple demographic subgroups in grades 3–8.
The study found increases in reading and math proficiency in all three states, across all grades, and for most demographic subgroups. Significant decreases in the White–Black and White–Hispanic achievement gaps were observed in all grades in all three states; however, substantial gaps in proficiency remain. The same pattern was found between economic subgroups.
All three of these states monitor and report changes in performance for schools. However, this study goes beyond reporting averages to examine performance using a growth curve modeling approach. This approach can provide stakeholders with a deeper understanding of trends in student proficiency to allow for more accurate policy responses.