Information Brief 2012-39

Race/Ethnicity Student Achievement Gaps Over Time 2012

How large are racial/ethnic achievement gaps in student achievement, and how do they vary over time?

The charts below show the achievement gaps for ACT-tested 2012 high school graduates who participated in EXPLORE® (grade 8), PLAN® (grade 10), and the ACT® (grade 11 or 12). Achievement gaps between the subgroups are present as early as in 8th grade and widen over time. For all subject areas, Asian students outperformed the other racial/ethnic groups by having both the highest performance and the greatest gains.

Average EXPLORE, PLAN, and ACT Scores by Race/Ethnicity

Charts showing average EXPLORE, PLAN, and ACT scores by race/ethnicity
English
Race/EthnicityGrade 8Grade 10Grade 11 or 12
Asian16.719.824.7
White16.018.321.5
Hispanic13.916.018.3
African American13.515.417.2
ACT College Readiness Benchmark18.018.018.0
Reading
Race/EthnicityGrade 8Grade 10Grade 11 or 12
Asian16.419.524.2
White15.618.121.8
Hispanic14.216.319.0
African American13.215.417.7
ACT College Readiness Benchmark21.021.021.0
Math
Race/EthnicityGrade 8Grade 10Grade 11 or 12
Asian18.221.825.6
White16.619.021.2
Hispanic15.217.219.2
African American14.215.817.7
ACT College Readiness Benchmark22.022.022.0
Science
Race/EthnicityGrade 8Grade 10Grade 11 or 12
Asian18.520.824.4
White17.419.221.5
Hispanic16.217.819.2
African American15.517.018.0
ACT College Readiness Benchmark24.024.024.0

Note: Data are from a sample of 178,436 students in the high school graduating class of 2012 who took EXPLORE in 8th grade, PLAN in 10th grade, and the ACT in 11th or 12th grade. For more information see ACT (2012, March). Do race/ethnicity-based student achievement gaps grow over time? Iowa City, IA: Author.

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