Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Illinois' poor and black students score worse than most minority students nationally

Kate N. Grossman:

Only 8 percent of black fourth-graders are proficient in reading, ranking Illinois 35th out of 41 states that test a large enough group of black students. Only 9 percent of poor eighth-graders are proficient in math, ranking the state 37th out of 50, the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation found after analyzing the 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress.

"Illinois lines up abysmally," said Michael Petrilli, Fordham vice president.

The rigorous NAEP, known as the "Nation's Report Card," is the only test taken by a sample of students in every state.

Illinois' black and poor students scored poorly, but their peers elsewhere scored only marginally better. Nationally, 11 percent of black fourth-graders passed reading. When all students are included, 23 percent rate as proficient. On the eighth-grade math test, 12 percent of poor students passed. The percent proficient for all students is 23 percent.

Mixed Picture on Minority Scores

Income doesn't explain testing gap


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