National Student Group Scores and Score Gaps

Student Group Score Trends
Higher average scores for several student groups compared to 2017

In comparison to 2017, the previous assessment year, average mathematics scores for grade 4 students were higher in 2019 for the following student groups:

In comparison to the first assessment year in 1990, average fourth-grade mathematics scores were higher in 2019 for the following student groups:

  • White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander students;
  • male and female students; and
  • students attending public and Catholic schools.

See trends in average scores for selected student groups by clicking on the thumbnails within the drop-downs below. Scroll down the page to find out how percentages of student groups have changed over time.

The Type of School dropdown below presents the results for Catholic schools (a subcategory of private schools) and public schools. In 2019, results for private schools overall did not meet the minimum participation rate guideline for reporting, and therefore are not included here. See more information about years with available data by type of school and other student demographic groups.

FIGURE | Trend in fourth-grade NAEP mathematics average scores, by selected student groups
Score Gap Trends
No significant changes in the White–Black and White–Hispanic score gaps in fourth-grade mathematics compared to 2017

In 2019, there were no significant changes in score disparities compared to 2017 across most reported student groups in fourth-grade mathematics. For example, among racial/ethnic groups, the average mathematics score for White fourth-grade students was 25 points higher than their Black peers in 2019 and 18 points higher than their Hispanic peers. The 25-point score difference between White and Black students was not significantly different from the 25-point difference in 2017, the previous assessment year; however the score difference was smaller than the 32-point score difference in 1990, the first assessment year. The 18-point score difference between White and Hispanic students in 2019 was not significantly different compared to either the 19-point difference in 2017 or the 20-point difference in 1990.

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Display as Graph | Table
Group Population Percentages
Demographic changes in student populations

Compared to the previous assessment year in 2017, the percentages of fourth-grade students who have taken the NAEP mathematics assessment have changed for selected student groups. For example, the percentage of students who were identified as students with disabilities was higher in 2019 compared to 2017, as was the percentage of students who were identified as English learners. In comparison to the first assessment year in 1990, the percentages of fourth-graders from various student groups who have taken the NAEP mathematics assessment have also changed. For example, the percentages of White and Black students were lower while the percentages of Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander students were higher in 2019. Select a student group from the drop-down menu to view changes in the percentage distribution for that group over time.

Read more about changes in policy for reporting by race/ethnicity.

YearWhiteBlackHispanicAsian/​Pacific IslanderAsianNative Hawaiian/​Other Pacific IslanderAmerican Indian/​Alaska NativeTwo or More Races