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Figure 1. Trend present concerning the difference in passing rates in reading between hispanic students and white students in elementary school, across a 16-year time period

Math. For the 16-year time period, the trend concerning the differences in passing rates in math between Hispanic students and White students in elementary school revealed a continuous achievement gap. Specifically, a trend with differences between Hispanic and White students was present for all 16 years of data analyzed. Average differences between White students were 1.50% to 13.61% higher than Hispanic students for math. The differences in passing rates in math between Hispanic students and White students were evident in the initial 1993-1994, 1994-1995, 2003-2004, and 2004-2005 testing years. During the 1993-1995 school years within the state of Texas, differences may be explained with the transition of TAAS testing from the fall to the spring, as well as the implementation of the TAAS tests for students in grades 4 through grades 8, and a new accountability measure for districts and campuses alike (http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/resources/studies/testingtimeline.pdf).

Effect Sizes in Math Over a 16-Year Time Period
Years M Difference d Effect Size Range
2008-2009 6.73 0.61 Moderate
2007-2008 7.23 0.71 Moderate
2006-2007 5.88 0.60 Moderate
2005-2006 9.80 0.85 Large
2004-2005 11.01 0.92 Large
2003-2004 10.68 0.92 Large
2002-2003 7.31 0.68 Moderate
2001-2002 1.50 0.30 Small
2000-2001 2.63 0.40 Moderate
1999-2000 4.35 0.55 Moderate
1998-1999 4.68 0.53 Moderate
1997-1998 5.42 0.56 Moderate
1996-1997 8.44 0.71 Moderate
1995-1996 12.11 0.85 Large
1994-1995 13.54 0.85 Large
1993-1994 17.63 1.00 Large

Differences in passing rates between Hispanic students and White students were also discernible during the 2003-2004 and 2003-2004 school years, which coincided with the signing of the No Child Left Behind Act. As mentioned previously, this law was enacted to bring stricter accountability for school campuses and districts, as well as 100% passing rates for all students by the 2013-2014 school year. The greatest differences in achievement between Hispanic students and White students (10.68% and 11.01%) were evident during the 2003-2005 school years. This large discrepancy in passing rate between students corresponds with the administration of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test (http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/resources/studies/testingtimeline.pdf). By the 2005-2006 school year, the mean difference between both groups began to decline and continued to decline through the 2008-2009 school year. The narrowest gap occurred during the 2001-2002 school year (1.50%). This decline was evident the year before the enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act. Readers are referred to Figure 2 for the trend that was present concerning the difference in passing rates in math between Hispanic students and White students in elementary school, across a 16-year time period.

Figure 2. Trend present concerning the difference in passing rates in math between hispanic students and white students in elementary school, across a 16-year time period

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Source:  OpenStax, The achievement gap between white and non-white students. OpenStax CNX. Jan 10, 2012 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11402/1.4
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