A comprehensive analysis of the NAEP data from Native American youth concerning excellence gaps

Jiaxi Wu, Purdue University


This quantitative study examines whether Grades 4, 8, and 12 Native American students represent a smaller proportion of students scoring at highest levels of achievement in National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading, mathematics, and science proficiency compared to students from other ethnic backgrounds in United States from 2000 to 2011. The study also investigates what student- and school-level factors may have predicted Native American students' NAEP reading and mathematics achievement. Data analyzed come from secondary, restricted data approved by Institute of Education Sciences (IES). This important work extends prior research on excellence gaps that omitted Native American populations. The results showed that in general, the percentages of Native American students scoring at the advanced level on NAEP tests were significantly lower than those of White, Asian/Pacific Islander, and multiracial students across subjects; but their percentages were significantly higher than those of Black and Hispanic students. Excellence gaps between Native Americans and those who had significantly better performance widened in reading and mathematics across years but shrank in science. Student's status as English Language Learner, school lunch program eligibility, and the number of books in home are three primary factors that predict Native American students' NAEP achievement across grades, subjects, and years. Findings provide a baseline concerning excellence gaps and a foundation for future intervention research concerning high-achieving Native American students. They also provide information for schools and communities that have Native American populations regarding what to consider when designing interventions.^




Marcia Gentry, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Gifted education

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