Nation’s Report Card Shows Blacks Excelling in Education

by May 15, 2009 0 comments

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – A report that measures the academic achievement of elementary and secondary students in the United States shows that African-American students made greater gains from early 1970s than Caucasian students.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) released its report, The Nation’s Report Card: NAEP 2008 Trends in Academic Progress, on Tuesday. Since 1969, the report has been a continuing and nationally representative measure of achievement in various subjects over time. “We have two basic types of assessments, what we call ‘Main NAEP’ and ‘Long-Term Trend,’” Stuart Kerachsky, acting commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), said in a statement. NCES manages the NAEP.
    Main NAEP measures grade-based student performance in mathematics, reading, and other selected subjects every two years, while Long-Term Trend NAEP provides national-level results for both public and private school students.
    Unlike Main NAEP, the Long-Term Trend NAEP assesses students by age rather than grade. The assessment was administered to 9-, 13- and 17-year-olds in representative samples of about 9,000 students in each age group, for a total of about 26,000 students per subject. Each student was assessed in one subject: reading or math.
    On reading, all three ages were asked to locate specific information in a text, make inferences based on information located in two or more locations in the text, and identify the main idea of the text, Kerachsky said.
    At age 9, black and white students had higher average reading scores in 2008 than in all previous assessment years – the average score for 9-year-old black students was 34 points higher in 2008 than in 1971, compared to a 14-point increase for white students, according to the report.
    Among 13-year-olds, black and white students had higher scores in 2008 than in 2004 and 1971. Black students showed a 25-point gain in 2008 compared to 1971, and white students showed a 7-point gain.
    The report also found that the average reading score increased for white 17-year-olds from 2004 to 2008, but showed no significant change for black students. Comparing 1971 to 2008, black students showed a gain of 28 points, while white students showed a gain of 4 points.
    The gaps between black and white students were narrower for all three ages in 2008 than in 1971, according to the report. The gaps narrowed by 20 points, 17 points, and 24 points at ages 9, 13, and 17, respectively.
    On mathematics, students were accessed on their knowledge of basic mathematical facts and formulas, ability to carry out computations using paper and pencil, and ability to apply mathematics to daily-living skills.
    Comparing 2004 to 2008, there was no significant change in the score for black students at all three age groups, while white students showed a gain of 5 points, according to the report. However, gains across all three age groups for black and white students were higher in 2008 than in 1973.
    The average score for 9-year-old black students was 34 points higher in 2008 than in 1973, compared to a 25-point increase for white students. Comparing 1973 to 2008, black 13-year-old students showed a gain of 34 points, while white students showed a g
    The report cited changes in the student population as a possibility for black and Hispanic students achieving significantly higher than white students. For example, the report states, the percentage of 9-year-olds assessed in reading who were white decreased from 80 percent in 1975 to 56 percent in 2008.
    For the 17-year-olds, Kerachsky added, “The percentage of white students in the total 17-year-old student population has fallen since the early assessments.”
    According to the report, the proportion of black students has remained more stable over time, making up 14 percent of 9-year-olds accessed in reading in 1971 and a 6 percent in 2008.ain of 16 points. And the average mathematics scores for black 17-year-old students was up 17 points, compared to 4 points for white students. •
Lawsuit continued from front

• “The temporary suspension of all foreclosures within the Farm Service Agency’s farm loan program, which will not only aid farmers facing economic hardship but will also provide the opportunity to review the loan granting process for possible discriminatory conduct; “
• “The creation of a Task force to conduct a review of a sample of program civil rights complaints that have been processed or that are currently being processed – the complaints and inquiries total over 14,000, including over 3,000 that have not been processed;”
• and “Granting greater authority to USDA’s Office of Civil Rights. The Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights will collaborate with the other agencies to develop and implement a proposal for data collection across USDA, make sure all complaints are incorporated as part of one data system; and develop USDA policy and training to ensure that all complaints are received and dealt with in a consistent manner within a specific timeframe.“ •

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