Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, University of Minnesota
Scholarly Text or Essay
Minnesota is understandably concerned about the statewide gap in achievement between White students and students of color, especially Black students. In fact, every state has such a gap. While Minnesota’s gap is large compared to most states, it is often the result of White students performing at levels above the average while Black students score at or near the national average for their races. Some states, such as Massachusetts and New Jersey, have been able to get both Black and White students performing above average; they may provide insights into what Minnesota can do to help close the gap.
The data used in this report are from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) program of the U.S. Department of Education. NAEP (pronounced “Nape”) conducts biannual testing of math and reading proficiency of 4th and 8th graders in each state. Sufficient numbers of students in each state are tested to represent that state and allow comparisons across states. NAEP also provides comparisons across racial and ethnic groups nationally and across states.
In this brief report, we focus on the test score achievement gap between Black and White students partly because this issue has commanded the most public attention and partly because Black students (including both African Americans and African immigrants) are the largest group of Minnesota students of color—nearly 100,000 students, and 11% of the state’s public school K–12 students.
University of Minnesota: Center for Urban and Regional Affairs; Craig, William J; Scott, Tom.
CURA Reporter [K–12 Achievement Gap Is a National Problem].
Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, University of Minnesota.
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