Gaps in Mathematics and Reading Achievement among Hispanic Students

The Hispanic population in the U.S. has grown to more than 50 million, with a high concentration of young people. Approximately, 20 percent of students in American schools are Hispanic, and nearly half of them do not complete high school.

Mathematics and Reading Performance of Hispanic Students in Public Schools

A major contribution to the large performance gap between Hispanic and Caucasian students stems from the vast majority of Hispanic students who are in the process of learning English as a second language. Achievement scores of Hispanic students in 4th and 8th grade standardized tests in mathematics and reading continue to improve; however, Caucasians still have higher scores.

According to a study conducted in 2018 by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the 2008 average mathematics scores for both Caucasian and Hispanic eighth graders was higher in 2018 vs. 2008. In 2008, there was a 24 point gap between Hispanics and Caucasians, compared to a 26 point gap in 20189. The performance gap is continuing to grow.

Gaps in Mathematics and Reading Achievement among Hispanic Students

National Trends for Mathematics

Competency in mathematics is becoming continually more important in our high technology workplace and society. Statistics indicate that between 2008 and 2015, average math test scores went from 213 to 241 for fourth-graders and from 263 to 284 for eighth-graders. However, gaps in achievement are found in at least three areas. There are differences by race and Hispanic origin, parental educational level, and gender.

Caucasian students are still scoring higher than their African American, Hispanic and American Indian peers. Between fourth and eighth grade, the gaps are significant. By twelfth grade, they are less significant. In 2016, Asian and Pacific Islander students had considerably higher mathematics scores vs. Caucasian, Afro American, and Hispanic students at all grade levels. The average test scores for Asians in eighth grade were 303, with 262 for African-Americans and 270 for Hispanic students.

From 2011 data, students whose parents graduated from high school or college scored higher in mathematics. Eighth graders whose parents had a college education earned average scores 30 points higher than those whose parents had only a high school diploma. Among the fourth graders tested in 2016, male students had mathematics scores slightly higher than females.

Tutoring Services Can Be Effective in Reducing the Achievement Gap

Online platforms offer students opportunities to find tutors to help them achieve their academic goals. Students can find tutors who relate to them and who speak their language. Sites like these are dedicated to connecting tutors who have demonstrated strong mastery of skills with students seeking help in specific areas from kindergarten through post graduate levels. Tutors and students are encouraged to work together and arrange their tutoring sessions where, when, and how they prefer.