Achievement Gaps: How Hispanic and White Students in Public Schools Perform in Mathematics and Reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress
Hemphill, F. C., and Vanneman, A. (2010). Achievement Gaps: How Hispanic and White Students in Public Schools Perform in Mathematics and Reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NCES 2011-459). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC.
Hispanics are the fastest-growing segment of the United States population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau data (Guzman 2001), the Hispanic1 population increased by about 58 percent, from 22 million in 1990 to 35 million in 2000, compared with an increase of about 13 percent for the total U.S. population. In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the number of Hispanics to be about 50.5 million, or about 16 percent of the U.S. population, up 43 percent from the 2000 census. The increase of over 15 million Hispanics from 2000 to 2010 accounted for more than half of the total population increase in the U.S. during that time (Humes, Jones, and Ramirez 2011). As these data reflect, the proportion of the U.S. population that is Hispanic is increasing over time. Additionally, data collected in 2009 by the U.S. Department of Education indicate that a substantial proportion of Hispanic students in grades 4 (37 percent) and 8 (21 percent) are English language learners. These two facts—the growing size of the Hispanic population in the United States and the percentage of fourth- and eighth-grade Hispanic students that are English language learners—underlie the achievement gap between Hispanic and White fourth- and eighth-graders. Closing the Hispanic-White achievement gap remains a challenge. While Hispanic students’ average scores have increased across the assessment years, White students had higher scores, on average, on all assessments.