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ERIC Number: ED543218
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Breaking the Glass Ceiling of Achievement for Low-Income Students and Students of Color. Shattering Expectations Series
Bromberg, Marni; Theokas, Christina
Education Trust
Typically, achievement gaps between groups of students are measured as either differences in average scores or differences in proficiency rates. But, practitioners, policymakers, and researchers have long recognized that these approaches don't tell the whole story. Average scores, for example, are good at summarizing trends but can mask real differences in the range of student performance. Proficiency rates, on the other hand, measure the percentage of students that exceed a predetermined standard of performance, but don't convey much about students above or below that standard. In this report, the authors dig underneath the averages and proficiency rate data to take a deeper look at where the nation currently stands. NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) results allow them to examine national trends in student achievement, providing consistent assessment data biannually and across states. NAEP is an ideal measure for their analyses because the proficiency standards are higher than most state standards, making analysis of advanced performance a true indicator of exemplary achievement. Also, unlike state assessments, NAEP is not tied to state accountability systems, providing little incentive to manipulate scores. For this paper, the authors examine national, public school trends from 2003-2011 in fourth and eighth grades in reading and math. Twelfth-grade results run on a different assessment cycle and are presented here separately. They analyze achievement patterns for low-income and higher income students, using free and reduced-price lunch as a proxy for family income, as well as for students of color and white students. They spotlight achievement gaps in: 1) the percent of students in the below basic and advanced performance categories; and 2) the achievement of the top and bottom 10 percent of students in each racial/ethnic and income group. They also examine trends separately for low-income black, Hispanic, and white students versus higher income black, Hispanic, and white students. They describe results that are statistically significant. Some data, on the surface, may seem different or denote progress, but they rely on significance tests to determine if the changes are truly different. The charts included in the body of the report utilize fourth-grade math as the primary example across analyses. Other tables are included to summarize results, and examples of other grades and subjects are included to demonstrate patterns. Appended are: (1) NAEP indicators that measure low and high-end achievement; and (2) Data Summary. (Contains 10 figures and 19 notes.
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Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Education Trust
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress