The first systematic study of gender achievement gaps in U.S. school districts, estimates male-female test score gaps in math and English Language Arts (ELA) for nearly 10,000 school districts in the U.S.
The study uses state accountability test data from third through eighth grade students in the 2008-09 through 2014-15 school years.
The average school district in the sample has no gender achievement gap in math, but a gap of roughly 0.23 standard deviations in ELA that favors girls. Both math and ELA gender achievement gaps vary among school districts and are positively correlated – some districts have more male-favoring gaps and some more female-favoring gaps.
Math gaps tend to favor males more in socioeconomically advantaged school districts. In wealthier, whiter school districts, where men earn more than women, have higher levels of education, and are more likely to work in business or science—boys outperform girls in math by a larger margin than in other communities.
In low-income districts, girls tend to outperform boys.