All students are doing a bit better, but black and Hispanic students aren’t closing the test-score gap with Asian-American and white students, reports the New York Times, summarizing several studies.
Despite concerted efforts by educators, the test-score gaps are so large that, on average, African-American and Hispanic students in high school can read and do arithmetic at only the average level of whites in junior high school.
It’s not just the NCLB bashers who see very slow progress; proponents also concede that there aren’t many signs that minority and low-income students are closing the gap.
The gap isn’t perplexing to Ken DeRosa of D-Ed Reckoning, who says the children of low-income parents are likely to be slower learners than the children of educated, middle-class parents.
That may be true, but we could cut the gap considerably by giving disadvantaged children more experienced and expert teachers, a well-designed curriculum, frequent diagnostic testing and after-school tutors who could provide the support their parents can’t. I also think we could work more closely with parents to tell them what they could be doing to help their children do well in school. Maybe the gap wouldn’t close completely but it can be narrowed.
By the way, Ken is on a roll with a number of good posts.