Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952668 | Print ISBN: 9781412909488 | Online ISBN: 9781412952668| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Academic Achievement and Minority Individuals
Eleanor Armour Thomas
The academic achievement of some minority individuals and groups remains a ubiquitous and seemingly intractable problem in the United States. The problem is usually defined in terms of mean differences in standardized achievement test scores between certain racial or ethnic groups. There is good reason for concern because on virtually every measure of academic achievement, African American, Latino, and Native American students, as a group, score significantly lower that their peers from European backgrounds. Moreover, it appears that gaps first manifest early in school, broaden during the elementary school years, and remain relatively fixed during the secondary school years. One source of information that has documented academic achievement trends among minorities for more than three decades is the National Assessment of Educational Progress testing program. If the term “minority” is defined as a racial or ethnic group within a larger population, then the lower performance in achievement is associated with ...