On Tuesday, the Center for American Progress and AAUW released a new fact sheet that explores the educational achievement gap between boys and girls — particularly girls of color. The fact sheet shows that according to national assessment scores, just 15 percent of black, female eighth-graders are proficient in math, compared to 20 percent of Hispanic girls and 44 percent of white girls in the same grade. The fact sheet highlights how rigorous standards included in the Common Core State Standards can raise educational achievement and ensure all students — regardless of race, gender or background — are college-ready.
While the fact sheet focuses on educational disparities in STEM courses (i.e., science, technology, engineering and mathematics), data shows that African American girls fall below the national average for girls on almost every measure of academic achievement according to Unlocking Opportunity for African American Girls: A Call for Educational Equity, a recent report from the National Women’s Law Center and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. More than any other group of girls, African American girls are more likely to get poor grades, be held back a year, and drop out of school. Along with highlighting some of the barriers that impede African American girls’ success in schools, Unlocking Opportunity details what policymakers, schools, parents, community advocates and philanthropic organizations can do to close the achievement gap for African American girls.
To learn more about how to close the education gap for African American girls, read our report.