In the United States today, the average Black and Hispanic students are about three years ahead of where their parents were in maths skills.
They’re roughly two to three years ahead of them in reading, too.
And while white students’ test scores in these subjects have also improved, they’re not rising by as much. This means racial achievement gaps – a key way of monitoring whether all students have access to a good education – in the country are narrowing, research by Stanford University shows.
But while the trend suggests progress is being made in improving racial educational disparities, it doesn’t show the full picture. Progress, the university says, has been slow and uneven.
Americans have long had a deep and abiding belief that education is the engine of opportunity in the United States. Schools, we believe, provide an opportunity for children—no matter their sex, their race, where their parents come from, or how meager their resources—to learn, to flourish, and to achieve the American Dream. There is truth to this belief: education in America has helped provide opportunities for millions of U.S. children, many of whom were not born and raised in advantaged conditions. But this truth is tempered by a large body of evidence demonstrating large racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and, in some cases, gender disparities in educational success. This suggests that historically not all children in the United States have had equal access to the American Dream. Our educational system has provided opportunity, but has not always provide it equally.
The goal of the Educational Opportunity Monitoring Project is to use the best available data to clarify patterns and trends in the equality of educational opportunities and outcomes in the United States. Patterns of educational inequality have changed over time; they vary among states and school districts; they take different forms among students at different ages; and their trends in different population groups are not the same. Some aspects of educational inequality have been improving; others have worsened. A detailed understanding of these patterns and trends is essential both for understanding the causes of educational inequalities and for designing strategies to eliminate them.
Source – Educational Opportunity Monitoring Project, Stanford University at https://cepa.stanford.edu/educational-opportunity-monitoring-project/achievement-gaps/race/ (Accessed: 16 October 2020)