Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Reading assessment for grades 4, 8 and 12, released today by the U.S.Department of Education, show that there has been no significant progress for most groups, and that the gap between Hispanic and White fourth graders grew dramatically from 1992-1998. “While we’re disturbed by the lack of progress overall, we are particularly alarmed by the growth in the Hispanic-White gap,” said Kati Haycock, director of The Education Trust.

The results of the NAEP reading assessment in 1998 show that among fourth graders, the average scale score difference between White and Hispanic students grew from 23 points in 1992 to 31 points in 1998. “A gap increase of this size is very disturbing because we know what works to raise student achievement, we just need the will to do it,” said Haycock.

According to Haycock a four part “common-sense agenda” could close the gap and improve achievement for all students.

  • All students should attend schools and colleges that are held publicly accountable for high achievement for all students.
  • All students should be held to a high standard of performance.
  • All students should be enrolled in a rigorous curriculum.
  • All students should be taught by highly effective teachers who know their subjects.

“We can close the gap that separates Black and Hispanic students from their White peers. There are a growing number of states, school districts, schools and colleges proving this every day, and they are not doing it with magic, but with common sense, political will, and hard work,” Haycock concluded.