When it comes to vocabulary, large gaps among Connecticut’s demographic groups

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The performance gap between white and minority students when it comes to vocabulary is formidable — a word that nearly two-in-three white students could correctly interpret in the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress; meanwhile, a little more than half the black and Hispanic test-takers got this word correct.

It’s a story we’ve heard before, as we looked at how students perform in other subjects, like history, geography, math and reading. In short, minority students lag behind in virtually every single state, but in Connecticut the gap is among the biggest in the nation.

Nationwide, vocabulary test scores increased slightly among nearly all races and ethnicities, but the gap between the groups did not shrink.

Meanwhile, the gap between English Language Learners and everyone else in Connecticut is slightly higher than the nationwide average, though not by much. If we compare math and reading scores for these groups, the gap in Connecticut is at or near the top for every grade and subject.

The test results also reveal that females outpace males nationwide, though more in fourth grade than in eighth.


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