Thursday, February 01, 2007

Nashua’s black and Latino students continue to lag behind their white and Asian peers on annual tests

Michael Brindley:

While test scores went up at many city schools, there are some students who continue to struggle on the statewide assessment tests.

A close look at the data reveals that Nashua’s black and Latino students continue to lag behind their white and Asian peers on the annual tests. In both reading and math, the district’s Latino and black students are far more likely to score below the state’s benchmark of “proficient” than their white or Asian counterparts.

Nearly half – 49 percent to be exact – of third-grade black and Latino students scored below proficient in reading, while 78 percent of their white and Asian counterparts scored proficient or above.

Overall, nearly three-quarters of all third-graders scored proficient or above in reading. Of the 27 percent who scored below proficient, 28 percent were Latino and 9 percent were black, despite Latino students making up only 12 percent of Nashua pupils and black students comprising less than 4 percent of the student population. In contrast, about 59 percent of white students score below proficient on the third-grade reading portion of the test despite making up 78 percent of the district’s pupils. The ratios for Asian students were on par – they make up 5 percent of the district and 4 percent of those who scored below the benchmark.

In elementary schools throughout the district, the scores were similar: Black and Latino students were farther below proficient and the district-wide averages than they should be, especially when compared to their white and Asian peers.

More evidence that diversity equals mediocrity.


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