Science Achievement Gaps
Researchers from Harvard and the University of Texas at Austin have recently examined science achievement gaps in great detail. Their work, scheduled to be published in the journal Educational Researcher, looks at the nationally representative data, NCES’s ECLS-K:99, which follow more than 20,000 kindergarteners through eight grade. The primary objective of the work is to quantify science achievement gaps and explain their causes. The study finds numerous gaps in science achievement according to gender and race. These gaps are presented in the first column of the following table.
The takeaway message that the authors wish to convey in this study is that these gaps exist as early as in third grade. Therefore, interventions aimed at closing gaps should begin when students are young. These gaps are correlated with socio-economic status, math and reading abilities. Narrowing these gaps hence requires addressing these factors.