As this set of tables shows, scoring gaps increased (though supposedly by statistically insignificant amounts) for Kentucky’s whites and African-Americans in reading in both the fourth and eighth grade and in math in the fourth grade. The gap essentially stayed flat in eighth grade math, as well (the one-point drop is not statistically significant).
The worst NAEP situation over the past two years was for fourth grade reading. African-American scores dropped rather dramatically by 6 points from 210 in 2011 to just 204 in 2013. That drop misses being statistical significance by only 0.08 point.
Based on the NAEP’s 500-point scoring scale, the gaps shown above are really big. They probably represent something on the order of two years less education for Kentucky’s African-Americans. Thus, the message from the NAEP is clear. After nearly a quarter of a century of promises from our educators that KERA and follow-on reforms would fix these gaps, nothing is happening. It now is time for Kentucky to explore better options, and school choice is certainly one of those possibilities.
Technical Note: These tables were assembled from tools in the new NAEP web site.
You first select the grade and subject of interest and then click on the Kentucky map to access the data.