February 21, 2013: The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NEAP), a program of the federal National Center for Education Statistics, released results today of an analysis of the fivwe most populous states (California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas) that shows "depending on where they live, Hispanic students' academic performance varies widely."
Writing in the New York Times, Motoko Rich reports [emphases ours]:
...Hispanic students comprised more than half of all eighth graders in California in 2011, the highest proportion in the country. But only 14 percent of [California] students were proficient on eighth-grade reading tests administered by the Department of Education.
In Florida, 27 percent of Hispanic students (who represent just over a quarter of Florida’s public school students) scored at the proficient level or above. And in Illinois, 23 percent of Hispanic eighth graders were proficient in reading.
In math, Hispanic eighth graders in California similarly underperformed their peers in other states, with just 13 percent hitting the proficiency mark, compared with 22 percent in Florida and 31 percent in Texas, where Hispanics make up more than half the eighth-grade student population.
In prepared remarks for a panel to discuss the report on Thursday, Richard Zeiger, above left, chief deputy superintendent of public instruction for the California Department of Education, pointed out that one in four students in California is an English language learner, the highest proportion in the country. He said that in addition to the state’s demographic challenges, the schools had been hampered by " a sustained disinvestment in public education, made all the more severe by the Great Recession.”
California’s struggles were not confined to Hispanic students. Overall, the state’s fourth and eighth graders underperformed the national average in reading, math and science. One bright spot in the state came from gains shown by black students in fourth-grade reading and math scores over two decades....