I have to admit I have reservations about the first graph below. It comes from Page 23 in the recently released National Assessment of Educational Progress 2005 High School Transcript Study.
This graph shows the high school grade point average for mathematics and science combined for high school graduates from various years since 1990.
The problem is that this graph clearly shows females outperforming males in what has been traditionally regarded as two subjects where males do better than females.
Not so, per the new NAEP study.
But, now look at the results for 17-year old students from the NAEP Long-Term Trend Mathematics Assessments. As with my last post in this series, this was assembled using the NAEP Data Explorer.
Sadly, the NAEP has not conducted Long-Term Trend assessments in science. But, I did check the 2005 Science Report Card for a different NAEP series known as the “Main NAEP.” It doesn’t cover as long a time period, but here is what that shows:
Since boys outscore girls in both math and science, it is an interesting trick for girls to have a higher combined GPA in those subjects.
Once again, can you say grade inflation? Especially for girls?
I plan to check with the NCES on the high school GPA differential. It does look strange, though the same assertion is made in the text of the 2005 High School Transcript Study that girls outperformed boys, so this is not due to a simple typographical error on the first graph.