In 2009, White students at grade 12 scored 30 points higher in mathematics than Black students and 23 points higher than Hispanic students. Neither score gap was measurably different from the corresponding score gaps in 2005.
In 2009 and in all previous assessment years since 1992, the average National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP) mathematics scale scores of White 4th-, 8th-, and 12th-grade students were higher than the scores of their Black and Hispanic peers. This disparity is known as an achievement gap—in the NAEP mathematics assessment, it is the difference between the average scores of two student subgroups on the standardized assessment. The achievement gap between Black and White 4th-grade students in 2009 (-26 points) was not measurably different from the gap in 2007, but it was smaller than the gap in 1990 (-32 points). The 21-point achievement gap between White and Hispanic 4th-grade students in 2009 was not measurably different from the gap in 2007 or the gap in 1990 (see table A-13-1).
White, Black, and Hispanic 8th-grade students' scores increased between 2007 and 2009, yet neither the 2009 achievement gap between Black and White 8th-grade students (-32 points) nor the 2009 achievement gap between Hispanic and White 8th-grade students (-26 points) was measurably different from the corresponding gaps in 2007 or 1990. In 2009, White 12th-grade students scored 30 points higher in mathematics than Black students and 23 points higher than Hispanic students. Neither achievement gap was measurably different from the corresponding gaps in 2005.
In 2009, male 4th-grade students scored 2 points higher on average than female 4th-grade students. This difference was not measurably different from the gap in 2007. At grade 8, male students scored 2 points higher than female students in 2009; since the increases in scale scores were comparable for both males and females since 2007, the 2-point score difference was not measurably different from the difference in 2007. Average mathematics scores for both male and female 12th-grade students were higher in 2009 than in 2005. Male students scored 3 points higher on average than female students in 2009, not measurably different from the score difference in 2005.
In 2009, achievement gaps between students in schools with high percentages of low-income students and students in schools with low percentages of such students exist at all three grade levels (see table A-13-2). For this indicator, students are identified as attending schools with high percentages of low-income students if more than 75 percent of the students in the school are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Students are identified as attending schools with low percentages of low-income students if 25 percent or fewer of the students in the school are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. In 2009, the low-income gap at grade 4 was -31 points, at grade 8 the gap was -38 points, and at grade 12 the gap was -36 points (see table A-13-2). None of the low-income gaps in 2009 were measurably different from previous gaps reported by NAEP.
NAEP mathematics scores range from 0 to 500 for grades 4 and 8. The framework for the 12th-grade mathematics assessment was revised in 2005; as a result, the 2005 and 2009 results cannot be compared with those from previous years. At grade 12, mathematics scores on the revised assessment range from 0 to 300. Score gaps are calculated based on differences between unrounded scores. Testing accommodations for children with disabilities and English language learners were not permitted in 1990 and 1992. Students were tested in grades 4 and 8 with and without accommodations in 1996. For more information on race/ethnicity or free or reduced-price lunch, see supplemental note 1. For more information on NAEP, see supplemental note 4.
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