The Gap Between Blacks and Whites Test Scores
The “gap” as referred to in the title, is the distribution of the scores on achievement tests that differ between black and white students in the United States. The purpose of this study was to record the degree of the gap in achievement scores, decide how much of the racial gap is due to social-class, how the gap differed in the 30-year period, and how that which is credited to the social-class has changed over the years.
Differences in social-class, family structure, and discrimination against blacks as a disgraced group are all proposed causes for the black-white gap in test scores. If the gap is caused by a difference in social-class or family structure, then when the social-class and family structure are controlled, the gap should decline or disappear. In researching these theories, the authors answered four questions. 1. How are the distributions of the scores of white and black Unites States high school seniors on achievement tests different? Answer: The authors used several indices including central tendency, variability, and the proportion of each group scoring high or low. 2. Since social-class and opportunity structures are part of the source of scores on achievement tests, how much of these gaps is a result of differences between blacks and whites in social-class? Answer: The authors compared the degree of the gaps before and after they adjusted for social-class. 3. How have the gaps changed over time? Answer: The authors calculated the gaps from data in cross sections over a 30-year period and studied the trend over time. 4. Is the portion of each gap that is independent of social-class changing over time? Answer: Yes, the authors contrasted the rate of change over time in the social-class-adjusted gaps.