More than two-thirds of children attending elite public schools in the United States were falling behind in math and reading in math scores, a new study finds.
The findings of the study by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) are part of a wider report released Friday that examines how students are learning in schools across the country.
More than half (55 percent) of students in elite public school districts were scoring below the national average in reading and math, according to the report.
The NCES also found that in math, the national median was below the nation’s average, but that students from affluent families were much more likely to score below the average.
Among the study’s findings:In a typical school year, 2,600 to 2,700 students in high schools in New York City were failing in math.
In suburban districts, more than 5,500 students were failing.
In Los Angeles County, more students in public schools were failing than in private schools, but in the state average, less than 1,000 students were falling below the state’s average in math.(Nathanielle K. Johnson/The Washington Post)At the nation as a whole, the report found that the national gap in math proficiency was wider than it was for reading.
The average gap in reading was 7.4 points, while in math it was 7 points, it said.
In the state of Washington, the average gap was 5.3 points, but nearly three times as many students were scoring in the middle of the national percentile in math as in reading.
The data from the NCES are not directly comparable with other research.
However, the researchers are suggesting that the gaps in math achievement between wealthy and poor students are widening.
The gap in test scores is also widening, the NCET said, noting that in some areas, the gap is getting worse.
In many areas, students from low-income families are failing more in math than in reading, the study found.