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ERIC Number: EJ964858
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jun
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1086-296X
Mind the Gap: The Black-White Literacy Gap in the National Assessment of Adult Literacy and Its Implications
Cohen, Dale J.; White, Sheida; Cohen, Steffaney B.
Journal of Literacy Research, v44 n2 p123-148 Jun 2012
Historically, Whites have scored higher than Blacks on most measures of literacy (referred to as the "Black-White" literacy gap). The authors outline the historic social inequities that contributed to the Black-White literacy gap as well as the current school and home environment that may maintain it. They then examine the current state of the Black-White literacy gap using data from the primary instrument that the U.S. Department of Education uses to assess adult literacy: the 1992 National Assessment of Literacy Survey and the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy. Their analysis shows that (a) the adult Black-White literacy gap decreased between 1992 and 2003, although is still sizable; (b) Blacks and Whites garner equal gains from advancing in educational attainment; (c) there was little evidence of a reduction in Black-White literacy gaps within educational attainment levels, and (d) there was significant evidence of more Blacks moving up the educational attainment ladder. This pattern of data suggests that the decrease in the overall Black-White literacy gap was significantly influenced by Blacks' achievement of higher levels of educational attainment. (Contains 5 notes, 7 tables and 2 figures.)
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Adult Literacy Survey (NCES); National Assessment of Adult Literacy