Equity & Diversity Report Roundup

NAEP Math Gaps Widen for Native Americans

By Sarah D. Sparks — July 17, 2012 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

American Indian and Alaskan native students are in an academic rut on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, according to the latest findings from a federal study.

The study, released this month, found Native American 4th graders significantly trailing their non-Indian peers in reading. A majority of 4th grade Indian students performed below the basic achievement level in that subject. In 8th grade, 61 percent of such students performed at the “basic” or “proficient” levels in NAEP reading, meaning they could recognize an essay narrator’s motivation, but on average could not form an opinion about a persuasive essay’s central issue.

In mathematics, the achievement gap between American Indian and other students has become more pronounced since 2005, according to the study by the National Center for Education Statistics. The math gap on NAEP has grown by roughly half an academic year’s progress from 2005 to 2011. Two-thirds of American Indian 4th graders performed at or above basic achievement in 2011. Of Native American students in 8th grade, more than half performed at the basic level.

Performance varied widely among the dozen states with individual reports in the study. Oklahoma was the only state in which Native American students outperformed the national average in both grades in reading and math. “That suggests to a policymaker that maybe there’s something they should take a look at” in Oklahoma, said NCES Commissioner Sean P. “Jack” Buckley.

A version of this article appeared in the July 18, 2012 edition of Education Week as NAEP Math Gaps Widen for Native Americans


Jobs October 2021 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Data Webinar
Using Integrated Analytics To Uncover Student Needs
Overwhelmed by data? Learn how an integrated approach to data analytics can help.

Content provided by Instructure
Classroom Technology Webinar How Pandemic Tech Is (and Is Not) Transforming K-12 Schools
The COVID-19 pandemic—and the resulting rise in virtual learning and big investments in digital learning tools— helped educators propel their technology skills to the next level. Teachers have become more adept at using learning management

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Equity & Diversity Census Prompts Push for More Indigenous School Lessons
American Indians and Alaska Natives say census numbers prove that Indigenous history should get more attention in public school classrooms.
Tim Henderson, Stateline.org
7 min read
Tatanka Gibson of the Haliwa-Saponi/Nansemond Tribal Nations leads attendees in song and dance during a gathering marking Indigenous Peoples Day at Penn Treaty Park in Philadelphia, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021.
Tatanka Gibson of the Haliwa-Saponi/Nansemond Tribal Nations leads attendees in song and dance during a gathering marking Indigenous Peoples Day at Penn Treaty Park in Philadelphia.
Matt Rourke/AP
Equity & Diversity Opinion You Can't Legislate Away Black and Gay Educators and Students
Students and teachers shouldn’t see their identity as a subject so taboo that the state must ban all references to it in schools.
Rafael Walker
5 min read
Conceptual illustration of a large pencil erasing a member of a community.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Nadia Bormotova/iStock
Equity & Diversity Reported Essay Do Students Have What They Need? One Survey Looks to Answer That Question
Even before the pandemic started, one state started thinking about how to understand student needs better. That plan accelerated with the virus.
4 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
Equity & Diversity Reported Essay What the Indian Caste System Taught Me About Racism in American Schools
Born and raised in India, reporter Eesha Pendharkar isn’t convinced that America’s anti-racist efforts are enough to make students of color feel like they belong.
7 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week