Racial Disparity in Test Scores

Erick Gabrielyan, Newspaper Editor

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Racial disparity in students’ test scores may cause some alarm, though the numbers may not be very shocking. This is a topic that is usually overlooked. We often hear about racial discrimination in the real world, whether it be true or unfounded. Could this gap in test scores at Marshall be a product of discrimination, or much more complex problems?

The statistics come from GreatSchools, a leading nonprofit dedicated to helping parents find the best schools for their children. The numbers are categorized into English and Math test scores. Hispanics make up the largest ethnic group of Marshall, at 61% of the student body. They have the lowest scores with only 37% of them meeting English testing standards, and 20% in Math. Being 10% of the total population, only 41% of Black students met English standards and 24% met Math standards. At 18% of Marshall students, 72% of Whites meet English standards and 55% meet Math standards. Asians take the cake home. With only 4% of the student body, 77% of them meet English standards and 67% of them meet math standards.

One student I interviewed, an Asian-American, said that the over achievement of Asians was expected. “Well yeah! If we home with something lower than a B,” she said jokingly, “we don’t get dinner.” From what I gather, I think I can safely say that the strictness of Asian parents has definitely been a benefit to their children. Another student pointed out that this difference can be attributed to the economic status of students. “Black and Hispanic students tend to be poorer than White and Asian students.”

Looking around, I see no reason to assume that the differences in test scores are a result of racial injustice at Marshall. The problem lies beyond the reach of school officials. It is up to the students themselves to get their act together.

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