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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Disparities in Racial Test Scores Shifts Midwest

Sam Dillon writes:

Historically, the achievement gap between America’s black and white students was widest in Southern states, where the legacies of slavery and segregation were reflected in extremely low math and reading scores among poor African-American children.

But black students have made important gains in several Southern states over two decades, while in some Northern states, black achievement has improved more slowly than white achievement, or has even declined, according to a study of the black-white achievement gap released Tuesday by the Department of Education.

As a result, the nation’s widest black-white gaps are no longer seen in Southern states like Alabama or Mississippi, but rather in Northern and Midwestern states like Connecticut, Illinois, Nebraska and Wisconsin, according to the federal data.

In interviews, top education officials in several states expressed disappointment at the magnitude of those gaps.

“This won’t be a total surprise,” said Roger D. Breed, Nebraska’s education commissioner, “but it’ll be a shock to Nebraskans that the gap here is as big as it is.”

link: Regional Shift Seen in Education Gap -


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