The history class achievement gap

Why are Black and Latino students being outperformed by their classmates in U.S. History classes?

History is an important subject. Beyond historical knowledge, students are focusing on topics and skills that benefit them personally and academically, including critical thinking, personal reflection, political engagement, and identity development.

So when we see an achievement gap for Black and Latino students in U.S. history, their lower test scores require a closer look. 

Here are the 2014 average results for American students in an 8th grade U.S. history assessment, with students grouped by race/ethnicity:

Source: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2014 U.S. History Assessment.
Source: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2014 U.S. History Assessment.

For Black students, that’s a statistically significant difference between their scores and everyone else’s. Latino/Hispanic students are scoring significantly lower than white, Asian and multi-racial students.

Similar results came from students in 12th grade (in 2010), with Native Americans also testing poorly relative to white and Asian students:

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2010 U.S. History Assessment.
Source: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2010 U.S. History Assessment.

Ancestors unKnown believes these results reflect a lack of equal representation for Black, Latino and Native American students in U.S. history curricula. When students don’t see themselves or their histories represented in their textbooks, many are led to disengage and underperform.

Read more about the cause of this issue here:

 

History class rebellion

We had the disengaged students in mind when we developed the Ancestors unKnown curriculum. By introducing them to untold and personalized histories, we believe they can better digest the events and understand the significance of world history.

We can all play a role in closing these achievement gaps. Get the Ancestors curriculum for your students!

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