Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups

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This report explores the progress and challenges of students in the United States by racial and ethnic identification.

It shows that the numbers of students of all races and ethnicities graduating high school and going to college have increased in recent years, although the rates of progress differ for each group.

Asian students continue to excel in the National Assessment of Educational Progress for 4th and 8th graders, continuing to score at or above “proficient” more often than those of other races and ethnicities.  They also hold the highest scores for the math portion on the SAT, according to the report.

Hispanic students are less likely to have completed courses in geometry, algebra II and statistics than their white, black or Asian counterparts, according to 2005 data of high school graduates. However, Hispanic students have made the population of SAT test-takers more diverse: They comprised 9 percent of test-takers in 1998 and 13 percent in 2008.

The authors contend that unemployment rates are related to the levels of education for each group: They say that as education levels increased within a racial/ethnic group, the unemployment rate decreased. The report found that the unemployment rate was higher for Hispanics (8 percent), blacks (9 percent) and American Indian/Alaska Natives (10 percent) than for whites and Asians (both at 4 percent). 

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