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NewsFlash: October 17, 2007

Black-White Achievement Gap Shrinks

As some policymakers decry the public school system as failing, they’re overlooking at least one important note of progress: the black-white achievement gap is closing, especially in math.

In today’s Economic Snapshot, EPI economist Joydeep Roy examines results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the Nation’s Report Card, to focus on math scores in fourth and eighth grades in 1990 and in 2007. Roy finds that average math scale score for African-American fourth-graders increased from 188 to 222 between these two years—up by 34 points or more than the black-white achievement gap in 1990.  Over these 17 years, the black-white gap in math closed by 6 points.

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