Math scores rising fast for Latino students outside Philadelphia
In suburban and urban districts across the U.S., Latino students are performing higher on math assessments than students ten years ago. In Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, however, schools are slower to close the math divide.
Child Trends, a nonprofit research center, analyzed Latino students’ test scores in fourth and eighth-grade mathematics over the past decade. In a recently published study, researchers found that across the nation, Latino students are scoring higher on math tests, outpacing the rate of improvement of white students. In some large cities, students scored grade levels above where students were scoring in 2003 and 2009.
Philadelphia was not one of those cities.
Fourth-grade Latino public school students in large cities scored an average of three points higher in the 2013 math portion of the National Assessment of Educational Progress compared to students who took the test in 2009, and nine points higher than in 2003. Likewise, eighth-grade Latino students scored five points higher in 2013 than those who were tested in 2009 and 13 points higher than 2003.
In Philadelphia, however, fourth-grade Latinos public school students scored three points lower than students scored in 2009, and eighth-grade students scored three points higher. Not only are the city’s scores improving at a slower rate, Philadelphia’s students already scored below other large cities when it came to math.
The states with the most sustained improvement were New Jersey, Indiana, Hawaii and Arizona. Pennsylvania’s scores for Latino students improved overall 13 points for fourth-graders, and 11 points for eighth-graders, but the scores remained low among all states.