A Decomposition of Long-Term Trends in Mathematics and Reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress [NAEP]

Vicki L. Lamb, Duke University
Ashley Taylor, Duke University

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), conducted by U.S. Department of Education Statistics, is a nationally representative periodic assessment of U.S. student knowledge and abilities in a number of subjects. NAEP long-term trend assessments in mathematics and reading use the same testing instruments and procedures to assess changes in academic performance for students at ages 9, 13, and 17. There has been only slight improvement in mathematics scores, and very little improvement in reading scores since the 1970s. However, the composition of students taking these tests has changed markedly in terms of race and ethnicity and other characteristics. The purpose of this paper is to use demographic standardization and decomposition techniques to examine the effect of racial, ethnic and other changes in the composition of U.S. student population on national reading and mathematics scores.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Inequality, Labor Force, Education, Gender, Race/Ethnicity, Religion, Policy