The Achievement Gap Widens for Latino & African-American Kids in NYC Schools

The Achievement Gap Widens for Latino & African-American Kids in NYC Schools

Education has long been the solution for opportunity and success – kids are encouraged to attend school, become educated and, in turn, more opportunities will come their way. But it might not be as simple as that. In a new study by Families for Excellent Schools, a pro-charter school group, numerous public schools have failed disadvantaged and minority students on this year’s math and reading exams. In fact, 90 schools (with diverse student bodies) have failed to pass even one Hispanic or black student on this year’s exams. Not one. 

This year’s standardized tests are based on the more stringent Common Core standards, the federally-approved education initiative that details what children in public schools should know at the end of each grade. It has had its share of controversy – even sparking outrage from celebrities such as Louis C.K.

C.K.’s children are enrolled in New York Public Schools, and in a Twitter rant about Common Core he wrote:

"My kids used to love math," he tweeted. "Now it makes them cry! Thanks standardized testing and common core!"

The comedian continued by posting pictures of his daughter's math homework, which required the third-grader to perform long division and Algebra. 

But the new standards are just one part of the problem that’s been ongoing for years. The same study found that even by the standards that preceded the new mandated Common Core, 3 out of 4 children at these same schools failed to read on grade level. Moreover, in 98 of the elementary schools examined, math results have ranked in the bottom half of the city 95% of the time since 2003.

At 28 public city schools, with a combined enrollment of 613 Hispanic students, none passed the math exam. At 31 public city schools, with a combined enrollment of 1,065 black students, none passed the state math exam. When it came to reading exams, similar results were reported.

And although black and Hispanic students achieved better scores on this year’s tests as compared with 2013, the achievement gap still got wider – since white and Asian students saw bigger increases in their scores.

Education Department spokeswoman Devora Kaye told the New York Daily News: “We are committed to ensuring that all students, regardless of ethnicity or background, receive a high-quality education.”

What do you think of this study? Are your children struggling with Common Core?