That demographic disparity can give a very “white” state like Kentucky (still 84% white in our classrooms) a big advantage in simplistic comparisons of the scores.
Also, it is important to understand that the NAEP scores are only estimates. Like a pre-election survey of voters, NAEP results have a notable amount of sampling error, which can create inappropriate conclusions about real performance if state scores are just simplistically ranked as though they are highly accurate numbers.
So, using the NAEP Data Explorer’s statistical significance tools (as I and Stoneberg have suggested before), I ran some properly performed rankings of Kentucky’s black student performance compared to what is found in other states.
To very briefly summarize, our blacks have lost some ground compared to blacks in other states since the early days of KERA. The loss is more pronounced in the eighth grade.
To see the details, click the “Read more” link.