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The CURA publications library is currently being digitized by the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy. When the project is complete, the entire CURA publications library will be online and fully searchable. Unfortunately, during this process we are not able to honor individual requests for publications . Additionally, we no longer have physical copies of publications to send out.

New publications are digitized daily and the publications catalog on the CURA website is not automatically updated with links to scanned copies, so please search the CURA collection at the Digital Conservancy for the publications you are looking for:

K–12 Achievement Gap Is a National Problem

Craig, Will and Tom Scott

Minnesota is understandably concerned about the statewide gap in achievement between White students and students of color, especially Black students. In fact, every state has such a gap. While Minnesota’s gap is large compared to most states, it is often the result of White students performing at levels above the average while Black students score at or near the national average for their races. Some states, such as Massachusetts and New Jersey, have been able to get both Black and White students performing above average; they may provide insights into what Minnesota can do to help close the gap.

The data used in this report are from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) program of the U.S. Department of Education. NAEP (pronounced “Nape”) conducts biannual testing of math and reading proficiency of 4th and 8th graders in each state. Sufficient numbers of students in each state are tested to represent that state and allow comparisons across states. NAEP also provides comparisons across racial and ethnic groups nationally and across states. 

In this brief report, we focus on the test score achievement gap between Black and White students partly because this issue has commanded the most public attention and partly because Black students (including both African Americans and African immigrants) are the largest group of Minnesota students of color—nearly 100,000 students, and 11% of the state’s public school K–12 students.

CURA Reporter
Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, University of Minnesota
48 (1): 23-29
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Reporter 48 (1)

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