Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hispanic students making steady progress in math

Hispanic students have made significant gains on federal math tests during the past decade, and Hispanic public school students in major cities including Boston, Charlotte, Houston and the District have made some of the most consistent progress, according to a report released Monday.

Child Trends Hispanic Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research center, analyzed 10 years of data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, that U.S. students have taken every two years since the early 1990s. Also known as the Nation's Report Card, NAEP is the country's most consistent measure of K-12 progress.

Between 2003 and 2013, when the most recent NAEP tests were given, the average math scores for Hispanic students in U.S. public schools rose nine points in fourth grade and 13 points in eighth grade. NAEP is graded on a scale of 1 to 500; the gains realized by Hispanic students are roughly equivalent to one grade level.

Hispanics attending public schools in major cities posted similar gains, with 10-point and 13-point increases in grades four and eight, respectively.

That's surprising, said Natalia Pane, author of the report and senior vice president of research operations at Child Trends. "It's really interesting what's going on in the large cities," Pane said. "Our large cities were able to keep pace when they've got such higher proportions of students coming from low-income families."

 Subscribe in a reader