Schools have made modest progress in closing the achievement gap between black and white students in math and reading, though that narrowing varies by grade and subject and from state to state, according to a study from the National Center for Education Statistics.
In math, the achievement gap between the two groups has narrowed significantly among 9- and 13-year-olds since 1978 but has remained statistically unchanged since 1999. In reading, the gap was statistically level among 9-year-olds, but it has narrowed at age 13 since 1980. Since 1999, the reading gap has shrunk statistically among students in both age groups.
The study, issued last month, is based on several years of results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP. It shows states differ in success in closing achievement gaps. Several states in the South, despite having a history of racially segregated schools, showed narrower gaps than Northern states.
A version of this article appeared in the August 12, 2009 edition of Education Week