Gaps Are Increasing in the Nation's Report Card

The results for the 2017 NAEP Math and Reading Assessments are now available. These scores are regarded as the Nation's report card in the United States. Fourth and eight graders have taken exams in both reading and math, and the recent scores are actually showing a decreasing gap between black and white students. Although the difference in scores between black and white children is shrinking, gaps remain and this time, the gaps are actually much more troublesome. The gap is increasing between high and low performers. If the race gap is diminishing, where is the additional gap coming from? Scores of students with disabilities are on a downward trend.

Here is the black/white gap for fourth graders:

Above copied from 2017 NAEP Math and Reading Assessments
Below shows the increasing gap between low and high performers:

In mathematics (4th grade):

Above copied from 2017 NAEP Math and Reading Assessments

In reading (4th grade):

Above copied from 2017 NAEP Math and Reading Assessments

The following shows the trend for students with disabilities suggesting that the increasing gap seen between low and high performers is partly due to either a deteriorating or stagnant performance of students with disabilities on these tests:

Above copied from 2017 NAEP Math and Reading Assessments


Above copied from 2017 NAEP Math and Reading Assessments


The above trends are troubling. We may be decreasing gaps somewhere but increasing them in another place. When students with disabilities on average are not even reaching basic level, it is imperative to ask if we are really addressing the needs of these students.


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