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For Hispanic Students, Education Gap Persists

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A recent report released by Child Trends Hispanic Institute suggests that although reading scores have increased for Hispanic students, progress has generally slowed overall nationwide in terms of keeping up with other student segments. The standardized test score gap between Hispanic and white students has remained significant.

Based on testing, not much has changed since the Common Core Standards have been implemented. In fact, the annual tests that determine if students have mastered the standards are actually being failed more often than being passed by Hispanic students. A nationally administered exam called the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has documented similar results since the assessments first began in 1969.

Hispanic students are performing better. Graduation rates have risen and college enrollment is at a record high. Scores on standardized testing has improved, as well. However, their white counterparts have improved in these areas also, meaning the achievement gap still remains. This disparity has continued basically unchanged since 1965 when legislation was enacted to help address the inequality for underserved students.

The Every Student Succeeds Act was passed in December and gives power back to the states. Though input was given from civil rights groups in regards to how best to address underserved students, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has gone on record critiquing the bill. The concern raised is that by allowing the states to have control, race and equality issues may be glossed over.

However, praise has been given to specific provisions, such as breaking down test measurements by racial and ethnic groups, economic, migrant and English proficiency status. Schools will be required to demonstrate progress for these groups if underperforming. The worry is that these changes may not be enough to address the large gap between Hispanic and white students that has remained over multiple decades.

Do you think Common Core and ESSA have what it takes to narrow the achievement gap for Hispanic K-12 students?

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The opinions expressed in Education Futures: Emerging Trends in K-12 are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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