The achievement gap between black and white students in Washington is among the largest in the country, according to a new federal study. Results from the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress are the source for the report.
Fourth-grade math scores were a prime example of the gap. Black students in the District scored an average of 212 points out of a possible 500; white students scored 262. That’s a 50-point difference, which is twice the national average. The gap in New York City and Philadelphia schools is much smaller, closer to 20 points.
The U.S. Department of Education conducts the test, called "the Nation's Report Card," every two years. It is meant as a universal metric to compare school performance.
Compared to results from 2009, D.C. 4th graders improved in math, but dropped off slightly in reading.
According to WAMU, approximately 40 percent of District students go to charter schools, but those institutions are not included in the survey.
Researchers blame a socio-economic gap for the divide. To close it, they suggest the city give more money to schools in poor neighborhoods.