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ERIC Number: EJ1000039
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1467-9620
Reassessing the Achievement Gap: An Intergenerational Comparison of African American Student Achievement before and after Compensatory Education and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
Span, Christopher; Rivers, Ishwanzya D.
Teachers College Record, v114 n6 p1-17 2012
Using data from the Digest of Educational Statistics, this article argues that an intergenerational comparison is a more productive, progressive method to interpret data used to gauge the achievement gap. It applies this method by comparing the academic achievement scores and educational outcomes of African Americans over a nearly 70-year period, 1940-2008, and uses the metrics--National Assessment of Educational Progress average reading scores in fourth and eighth grade and high school and college completion--most often applied in assessing the achievement gap. It argues that since the inception of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (1965), and the compensatory education programs that have grown out this act, African Americans have made some of the greatest strides in improving their educational performance and outcomes in virtually every measurable category used to assess the achievement gap. The intergenerational comparisons offered serve as a counter-assessment to the traditional modes of analysis that compare the achievement scores and educational outcomes of white to minority students.
Teachers College, Columbia University. P.O. Box 103, 525 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027. Tel: 212-678-3774; Fax: 212-678-6619; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 4; Grade 8; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress