ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — July 23, 2009 — The Department of Defense Education Activity's (DoDEA's) schools continue to have some of the smallest achievement gaps between Black and White students of all ages according to results recently released in a report from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
The NCES report, "Achievement Gaps: How Black and White Students in Public Schools Perform in Mathematics and Reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)," addressed two questions: (1) How do achievement gaps between Black and White students in 2007 compare to gaps in the initial and most recent prior years of the NAEP national and state assessment series; and (2) How do states compare to the nation in 2007? The report is the first to focus on the Black-White achievement gap at the state level.
DoDEA was one of only two states whose gap was smaller than the nation's average gap in all of the grade and subject areas studied in the report. DoDEA's score gaps are consistently below 20 points on the test's 500-point scale. The national average gap across grade levels four and eight was 27.5 points.
For reporting purposes, DoDEA, along with the District of Columbia, is considered as a state. Highlights of the study with regard to DoDEA's performance include:
- In a comparison of 2007 gaps between states and the nation in the area of Grade 4 mathematics, DoDEA was one of 10 states whose performance gap between Black and White (19 points) was significantly smaller than the national average of 26 points.
- In Grade 8 mathematics, DoDEA's gap of 19 points was the second lowest of 12 states whose gap was smaller than the nation's average of 31 points.
- In Grade 4 reading, DoDEA's gap of 17 points was among the nine states whose gap was smaller than the nation's average of 27 points.
- In Grade 8 reading, DoDEA's gap of 19 points was again among the nine states whose gap was smaller than the nation's average of 26 points.
The NAEP assessment is the only nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas. Assessments are conducted periodically in mathematics, reading, science, writing, the arts, civics, economics, geography, and U.S. history. Since NAEP assessments are administered uniformly using the same set of test booklets across the nation, NAEP results serve as a common metric for all states and selected urban districts. The assessment stays the same from year to year, with only carefully documented changes. This permits NAEP to provide a clear picture of student academic progress over time. NAEP provides results on subject-matter achievement, instructional experiences, and school environment for populations of students and groups within those populations.
DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education programs for Department of Defense (DoD) dependents who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality, public education. DoDEA schools are located in Europe, the Pacific, the United States, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Education Activities throughout the U.S. that serve children of military families.