Kentucky’s white to African-American performance gaps increase in most subjects in 10th grade testing in 2013
The table below lists the percentages of whites and African-Americans in Kentucky’s 10th grade in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school terms that scored at or above the PLAN test Benchmark Scores. Those Benchmark Scores show students are on track for college and careers as of the 10th grade.
For example, in the 2011-12 school year in English, 66.6 percent of the whites scored at or above the Benchmark that showed they were on target while only 39.7 percent of the African Americans did so. That was a performance gap of 26.9 points.
One year later, 71.8 percent of the whites met the English Benchmark, while only 44.1 percent of the African-Americans did. The gap thus increased from 26.9 points in 2011-12 to 27.7 points in 2012-13.
The graph below summarizes the gap differences.
Overall, across Kentucky the white minus African-American PLAN Benchmark gap increased in every subject except science, notably so for English and rather more seriously for reading. In fact, the percentage of African-American students who met the Benchmark Score in reading dropped from 23.6 percent in 2012 to only 20.0 percent in 2013.
Furthermore, while African-American Benchmark performance did improve in math and science between 2012 and 2013, the numbers are still dismal. In 2013 only 8.8 percent of African-Americans were on target in math and just 7.0 percent were in science.
Thus, just as earlier K-PREP scores for reading and math show, African-Americans definitely lost ground overall in year two of Kentucky’s Common Core State Standards driven education reforms. These PLAN results reaffirm conclusions from K-PREP testing – so far, at least, Common Core is not helping African-Americans as much as whites, so gaps are mostly widening.
Clearly, Kentucky needs some other education options that are showing success in lifting the performance of African-American students. Charter schools are one of those proven options that Kentucky clearly needs to implement.