ERIC Number: ED490860
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Jan
The Black-White Test Score Gap through Third Grade. NBER Working Paper No. 11049
Fryer, Roland G.; Levitt, Steven D.
National Bureau of Economic Research
This paper describes basic facts regarding the black-white test score gap over the first four years of school. Black children enter school substantially behind their white counterparts in reading and math, but including a small number of covariates erases the gap. Over the first four years of school, however, blacks lose substantial ground relative to other races; averaging .10 standard deviations per school year. By the end of third grade there is a large Black-White test score gap that cannot be explained by observable characteristics. Blacks are falling behind in virtually all categories of skills tested, except the most basic. None of the explanations we examine, including systematic differences in school quality across races, convincingly explain the divergent academic trajectory of Black students.
Descriptors: Elementary School Students, African American Students, White Students, Academic Achievement, Scores, Racial Differences, Reading Achievement, Mathematics Achievement, Achievement Tests
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138-5398. Tel: 617-588-0343; Web site: http://www.nber.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA.