Gender Gaps in Math and Reading Gains during Elementary and High School by Race and Ethnicity

Duncan Chaplin, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Laura F. LoGerfo, U.S. Department of Education (ED)
Austin Nichols, Urban Institute

Gender differences in academic achievement have long fascinated researchers and policy-makers alike. In this paper we analyze differences in math and reading test score growth rates by gender for four different race and ethnic groups—Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians and for six different time periods. Our data cover both the earliest years of education and the crucial years of adolescence. In addition, we have data covering one non-schooling period. Together these data enable us to get a very complete picture of how gender gaps evolve over the course of early elementary and high school years and how these trajectories differ by race and ethnicity. While the gender gaps are not always statistically significant, they are for 14 of 48 comparisons made and these differences are almost all during school. Finally, all of the statistically significant results suggest that males learn more math and females more reading.

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Presented in Poster Session 3