Achievement Gap for Blacks Starts to Close

A data analysis shows that Blacks have made significant gains in reading test scores.

Posted: 05/10/2011 08:35 PM EDT
Filed Under education

For years, the Black-white achievement gap has served as almost a Berlin Wall around the African-American community—it seemed as if it was impossible to knock it down. Data is now showing, however, that over the last decade students of color have made significant increases in performance test scores. 


According to long-term trend data from the National Assessment of Education Process (NAEP), notable gains have been made by African-American and Latino students, especially in reading. Between the 1970s and 2008, reading scores for nine-year-olds rose 14 points for white students and 25 points for Latino students. The largest increase, however, was with African-American students in this age group, whose reading scores rose 34 points.


Black high-school students also saw significant gains. Reading scores increased four points for white 17-year olds, 17-points for Latinos, and a crowd-cheering 28 points for African-Americans.


It’s been long journey, but it looks like we’re finally moving on up.

(Photo: The Commercial Appeal/Landov)