I have now had a chance to examine the change in Kentucky’s white minus black proficiency rate achievement gaps on National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) math and reading assessments.
I assembled the percentages of whites and blacks scoring at or above NAEP’s “Proficient” score using the NAEP Data Explorer.
I obtained data for the earliest available year and the new 2011 results.
I then calculated the difference in proficiency rates, the “Achievement Gap,” for white minus black scores.
The four tables tell the sad story.
Large achievement gaps between Kentucky’s whites and blacks are not being reduced. For the most part, possibly excepting fourth grade reading, Blacks in Kentucky are getting left further behind whites.
This information may have important ramifications for the Kentucky Department of Education’s current attempt to get a relaxation of No Child Left Behind’s penalties for poor minority performance. The data above indicates that if anything, Kentucky’s education system needs to put more, not less, priority on minority student performance.
This also provides important evidence that charter schools might be a good choice now for Kentucky. Charter schools are showing very good results for minority students.