Equity & Diversity Letter to the Editor

Readers Respond to Data Omitted in Diplomas Count

July 17, 2012 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

In your article “A ‘Demographic Imperative': Raising Latinos’ Achievement” (June 7, 2012), you presented graphs that illustrate scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, among white, Latino, and black students, but you exclude Asians and Native Americans from the discussion completely. As an Asian-American and an educational professional, I feel that this was irresponsible reporting on your part.

While Asian-American students’ trends may differ from that of Latinos and blacks, they should not be excluded from the discussion. All groups should be part of the discussion.

Nadia Alam

Belmont, Mass.

To the Editor:

Your Diplomas Count report (June 7, 2012) on Latino students published disaggregated race data for only white, Latino, and black students. No effort was made to explain why other race groups were excluded (Asian and Native American, in particular). When we have a conversation on the achievement gap, all these groups belong in the discussion, not just white, Latino, and black students. You failed to treat your readership as intelligent and discerning, and I am disappointed in your selective reporting.

As a statistician and an educator, this data-driven era has repeatedly taught me an important lesson: Ignoring subsets of data will only paint an inaccurate picture of the trends underlying the numbers.

Liam Honigsberger

Boston, Mass.

Editor’s Note: The 2012 edition of Education Week’s Diplomas Count report was meant to be a close-up look at the educational progress of Latino students, rather than a broader story about overall achievement gaps between all of the various student subgroups. Thus, most of the graphic illustrations zero in on the three largest student racial or ethnic subgroups.

Even so, it would have been difficult to include all five of the major racial or ethnic groups in every chart. In some cases, we lacked adequate sample sizes for one or more of the smaller subgroups. In others, there was insufficient trend data going as far back as the chart depicts for every subgroup.

The report also strived to maintain some uniformity in presentation of the charts and to keep them easy to read.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the July 18, 2012 edition of Education Week as Readers Respond to Data Omitted in Diplomas Count


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
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.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Building Teacher Capacity for Social-Emotional Learning
Set goals that support adult well-being and social-emotional learning: register today!

Content provided by Panorama
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.

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