Monday, July 20, 2009

Performance grows and gaps grow (fourth grade math)

NAEP reported last week on black-white achievement gaps and gap trends in mathematics and reading at fourth and eighth grade (here).

Within the report, fourth grade math is our weakest subject, with results that look like this:

The 2007 scores are higher than 1992 for black and white students both nationally and in Kentucky. That's good, and it's good that Kentucky's 2007 achievement gap is smaller than the national one.

The disturbing story here is that Kentucky black students' performance improved less than black students nationally, white students in Kentucky, and white students nationally.

To change that, we need to look most of all to building teaching quality in the schools and districts that serve those students. Jefferson County's major GE initiative, if successful, could make a mighty difference. I hear of energetic efforts in Fayette and Warren, and Christian County and Covington Independent engaged new, focused superintendents just last year. Those five, plus Hardin County and Paducah, are in a position to create major steps up in the learning of 75 percent of Kentucky's black students.

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Updates and data on Kentucky education!