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Estimated Gaps in Reading Achievement Between High-Low Income (90/10 Ratio) and Black-White Students, by Birth Year, 1940-Present

Drawing from 23 studies of children from ages 3 to 18 in grades pre-K to 12th, Sean Reardon shows that the race gap in reading achievement has declined for birth cohorts from the 1950s to the most recent cohorts. At the same time however, the gap in reading achievement between the 90th and 10th income percentiles has increased by nearly double (average difference in standardized test scores). Reardon has demonstrated similar trends for math achievement in which black-white differences have decreased for birth cohorts over time, but SES differences have increased.


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