ERIC Number: ED457283
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Oct
Trends in Black-White Test-Score Differentials. Discussion Paper.
Hauser, Robert M.; Huang, Min-Hsiung
Until the 1970s, there were few signs of change in the historic difference of one standard deviation between average ability or achievement test scores of black and white students. From 1970 to the mid-to-late 1980s, there was a substantial convergence of the average achievement test scores of blacks and whites. From the mid-to-late 1980s to 1992, test scores began to diverge again. This paper reviews evidence about the timing of the change in test scores and the types of tests in which it has occurred. It mainly uses National Assessment of Educational Progress data, though the convergence appears in other test series. Herrnstein and Murray's "The Bell Curve" stands almost alone in minimizing the importance of the convergent trends. A longer-term convergence between the verbal abilities of blacks and whites is seen in General Social Survey (GSS) data. GSS data shows a long-term decline in verbal ability among whites. Black-white differences in cognitive tests appear to have been reduced for cohorts born after the mid-1960s. The paper stresses the importance of the many cognitive tests across which black performance has begun to converge toward that of whites. (Contains 60 references.) (SM)
Descriptors: Academic Ability, Academic Achievement, Black Students, Elementary Secondary Education, Intelligence Differences, Intelligence Quotient, Intelligence Tests, Racial Differences, Scores, Verbal Ability
For full text: http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/irp.
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.; Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (DHHS), Washington, DC.; Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Center for Demography and Ecology.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Inst. for Research on Poverty.
Note: Paper prepared for the conference, "Intelligence on the Rise: Secular Changes in IQ and Related Measures," Emory University (Atlanta, GA, April 12-14, 1996). Also sponsored by the Vilas Estate Trust.