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ERIC Number: ED503695
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 2
Mathematics Achievement of Language-Minority Students during the Elementary Years. Issue Brief. NCES 2009-036
National Center for Education Statistics
This report uses longitudinal data to examine the scores of public-school language-minority students on a mathematics assessment in 1st grade, and gains in their scores between 1st and 5th grades. Scores are reported by student race/ethnicity, poverty status, and maternal education. Data are drawn from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 (ECLS-K), using data from spring 2000 (when most of the children were in 1st grade) and spring 2004 (when most of the children were in 5th grade) and is restricted to children who were first-time kindergartners in 1998-1999 and who attended public school in 2000 and 2004. Students are categorized by language background and English language proficiency into three groups: (1) language-minority, English Proficient students; (2) language-minority, English Language Learners; and (3) students whose primary home language is English. The grouping of language-minority students into either English Proficient or English Language Learners is based on their score on a direct measure of oral English language proficiency in the fall of their kindergarten year. Of first-time public school kindergarten students in 1998-1999, approximately 12 percent were language-minority students, with an almost even split between English Proficient students and English Language Learners. Approximately half of all English Language Learners lived in poverty and had a mother with less than a high school education. Overall, language-minority students scored lower on a 1st-grade mathematics assessment than did students whose primary home language was English. English Language Learners generally scored lower than English Proficient students and students whose primary home language was English. This was true whether students lived at or above the poverty threshold. Between 1st and 5th grades, there was no measurable difference in gain scores on the mathematics assessment among the three language groups. However, differences within and between the groups were found by the reported scoring characteristics of race/ethnicity, poverty status, and maternal education. Standard error information is appended. (Contains 8 endnotes and 4 tables.)
National Center for Education Statistics. Available from: ED Pubs. P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Tel: 877-433-7827; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Education Statistics (ED)
IES Funded: Yes