States with higher concentrations of poor or minority students and larger class sizes require students to learn a narrower range of skills, finds a new University of Kansas analysis.
, which was to be presented at the American Sociological Association meeting last week, found the correlation between skills required for state tests and the National Assessment of Educational Progress decreased from 2003 to 2009.
States whose populations included larger class sizes and larger black populations required more skills as part of their content standards in the early years of federal accountability under the No Child Left Behind Act, but reduced the number of skills taught as years passed. As a result, the state tests became less correlated with NAEP, researchers found.
A version of this article appeared in the August 20, 2014 edition of Education Week as Achievement Gaps