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Saturday, June 16, 2018

New Stanford education study shows where boys and girls do better in math, English | Stanford University News

Krysten Crawford, Freelance Writer & Editor notes, "A review of test scores from 10,000 school district finds that gender gaps in math and English vary with community wealth and racial diversity."

Researchers at Stanford Graduate School of Education discovered wide variations in how girls and boys in grades three through eight perform in math and English from one district to the next.
Photo: Getty/lisegagne

When Stanford Professor Sean Reardon and his research team set out to take an unprecedented look at how elementary school girls and boys compare in academic achievement, they expected to find similar stereotype-driven patterns across all 10,000 U.S. school districts: boys consistently outperforming girls in math and girls steadily surpassing boys in reading and writing by a wide margin.

Instead, Reardon and his team of researchers at Stanford Graduate School of Education discovered wide variations in how girls and boys in grades three through eight perform from one district to the next. In some cases, girls did better in both math and reading. In others, boys had the advantage in math and almost matched girls on English-related subjects.

The swings in math scores were especially striking. Looking closely, the researchers uncovered a pattern: in affluent, highly-educated and predominantly white districts, boys outperformed girls in math. In poorer, more racially diverse districts, girls often outdid boys in math.

In reading and writing, however, the researchers found no correlation with local socioeconomic status or racial makeup. In almost every public-school system, girls came out ahead in reading scores, though to different degrees across communities.

The study, published online as a working paper, marks the first comprehensive analysis of gender achievement gaps at the district level.

“Our goal was to map the patterns of gender achievement gaps across the entire country in order to develop a better sense of what kinds of communities and school districts most commonly provide equal educational opportunities for girls and boys,” says Reardon, the Professor of Poverty and Inequality in Education. We hope this information will help educators and policymakers eliminate educational gender disparities.”

Beyond stereotypes
The findings were drawn from the Stanford Education Data Archive (SEDA), a massive online collection of roughly 300 million math and reading test scores from every public school in the United States from fall 2008 through spring 2015. Reardon, one of the creators of SEDA, has previously found that school systems with large numbers of low-income students have average academic performances significantly below the national average. He's also shown that poverty alone does not determine the quality of a school district...

The paper’s additional co-authors were: Demetra Kalogrides, a researcher at CEPA; Rosalia Zarate, a GSE doctoral student; and Anne Podolsky, a researcher and policy analyst with the Learning Policy Institute.
Read more... 

Additional resources  
Gender Achievement Gaps in U.S. School Districts

Source: Stanford University News


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