Gender Achievement Gaps in US School Districts

Erin M. Fahle, St. John's University
Demetra Kalogrides, Stanford University
Anne Podolsky, Stanford University
Rosalia C. Zarate, Columbia University
Publication Date:
Dec 2019

This article's authors estimate male-female test score gaps in math and English language arts (ELA) for nearly 10,000 U.S. school districts using state accountability data from third- through eighth-grade students in the 2008–2009 through 2015–2016 school years. They find that the average U.S. school district has no gender achievement gap in math, but there is a gap of roughly 0.23 standard deviations in ELA that favors girls. Both math and ELA gaps vary among school districts; some districts have more male-favoring gaps and some more female-favoring gaps. Math gaps tend to favor males more in socioeconomically advantaged school districts and in districts with larger gender disparities in adult income, education, and occupations; however, they do not find strong associations in ELA.



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