The achievement gaps for black and Hispanic youths have narrowed considerably over the past 40 years, according to a new report focused on long-term trends on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. This finding was consistent across reading and math, and at all age levels tested (9, 13, and 17), when comparing data from the early 1970s to 2012 results.
When looking at the U.S. average across all students tested, scores improved for 9-year-olds and 13-year-olds in both reading and math. However, for 17-year-olds, the overall student average did not change by a statistically significant margin since the reading and math tests were first administered (in 1971 and 1973 respectively).
You can find more details in this Education Week story, or by examining for yourself the data from the “nation’s report card.” But keep in mind that the long-term trends report does not rely upon the main NAEP. It’s based instead upon the results of a separate assessment. You can learn about the differences here.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.