ERIC Number: ED415275
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Reading and Mathematics Achievement: Growth in High School. Issue Brief.
Ralph, John; Crouse, James
The 1983 report, "A Nation at Risk," left education researchers with the important question of how much student achievement, for youth who stay in school, grows during different stages of schooling. Data are available to answer this question for high school students, and the same data source, the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS:88), makes it possible to examine differences in achievement for Blacks, Whites, and Hispanic Americans. Data from the NELS:88 for students near the end of 8th and 12th grades make it apparent that very modest gains in achievement occur over the high school years compared to the range of achievement existing near the end of grade 8. Whites students score higher than Blacks and Hispanics at the end of eighth grade, and these differences do not increase substantially over the next 4 years. All of the significant differences in reading and mathematics achievement between White, Black, and Hispanic students at the end of 12th grade reflect differences that already existed before they entered high school. Both reading and mathematics achievement do increase from grade 8 to grade 12, with most of the increase occurring before grade 10. These changes are overall changes in the achievement distributions at each grade, and not the achievement gains of groups, such as Blacks and Hispanics compared to Whites. Achievement of 12th graders as a group is not dissimilar to that of 8th graders as a group. In addition, data indicate that the high school years do not contribute significantly to racial and ethnic differences in reading and mathematics achievement. (Contains five tables and three references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Achievement Gains, Age Differences, Black Students, Ethnic Groups, Grade 12, Grade 8, High School Students, High Schools, Hispanic Americans, Mathematics Achievement, Minority Groups, Reading Achievement, White Students
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Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Education Statistics (ED), Washington, DC.