Achievement Gap Between Hispanic And White Students Found In Every School District

Hispanics are the largest growing minority in state schools.

Achievement Gap Between Hispanic And White Students Found In Every School District
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Achievement Gap Between Hispanic And White Students Found In Every School District

For the past two decades, the achievement gap between Hispanic students and their white classmates nationwide has remained largely unchanged. Hispanic students perform about two grade levels below their white peers in math and reading.

Connecticut has one of the largest gaps in the nation, and a new study finds the problem exists in every school district in the state.

White students in Connecticut are two to three times more likely than Hispanic students to achieve at or above goal on the Connecticut Mastery Tests. 

That’s according to Annemarie Hillman, a policy fellow at CT Voices for Children and co-author of the new study.

"We found this in every district for which we had data. It didn’t matter what the income level was of the community, where it was in the state, the size of the Hispanic population, or the percentage of Hispanic students."

Overall achievement by Hispanic students is higher in wealthier districts, but gaps persist across grade level and subject matter. 

Hillman says this is especially worrisome because Connecticut’s Hispanic population is growing.

"Right now its about 17% of the students population. And by about 2020 it should be about 20%. It's also the largest minority population in our schools."

Though English language ability contributes to the achievement gap, it is by no means the only factor. In the 2009-2010 year, eighth grade Hispanic students lagged farther behind in math, science and writing, than they did in reading. 

The report calls for better data on the roles that income status and parental education play in the gap between Hispanic and white students.

For WNPR, I’m Diane Orson.