By Nivi GanesanMUMBAI: An international study on black children and education, published on Tuesday, found that while in the developed world, black children do get better grades than white children, in developing countries, the gap is more pronounced.
The study, called “Black Children’s Achievement: Understanding the Difference in Achievement from Birth to Adulthood”, looked at achievement across countries, from preschool to the advanced stage.
It said that despite there being a growing awareness of black children’s achievement, the extent to which they get to know and interact with their peers in schools has not changed significantly.
The report was authored by Dr Tanya Jha, the president of the American Association of Children’s Hospital Directors.
She said that while black children in the US are outperforming white children in literacy, achievement in math and science, and the most basic cognitive skills, the black children are still in some ways worse off than their white peers.
“Black children are doing better in math, but we are doing worse in reading and math.
They are performing worse on math tests than their peers of color,” she said.
Jha added that the gap in math performance for black children has widened, and that black students were outperforming whites on test-taking and reading, but failing to do as well on tests of intelligence, which she said was the area where the study had focused.
She also said that the disparities in math achievement were not limited to black students in the U.S., but also in other countries, including India.
“The disparities in achievement between black and white children are much broader and include the most vulnerable communities, such as the young, the disadvantaged, the disabled, the mentally ill, the chronically homeless, and youth of color, who have been disproportionately affected by these trends,” she wrote.
While the study did not include any country specific data, it did note that the U, UK, France and Australia had among the highest rates of black achievement in the world.
Jha said that it was “disappointing” that the countries with the most disparities did not provide the same opportunities for black kids.
The gap in achievement is not limited solely to the U-12 age group, Jha noted.
“For example, the difference between the U and 10-year-olds on reading and mathematics test scores is quite large.
The differences in achievement across age groups are even greater,” she added.
The researchers also noted that the achievement gap between black boys and girls has been widening in the last decade.
“Our study provides some of the first data on the achievement gaps between boys and black girls in the United States,” they said.