Here is a sensitive one.
Here is a link that shows student SAT scores by race and gender.
As you can see, some of Indiana's minority children are having some difficulty. BUT, did you know that virtually all minority groups in America have improved? Did you know that despite the fact that ALL of America's subgroups have improved that the TOTAL average for SAT's is relatively flat?
Say What??? How can every group in America get better but the whole group NOT improve?
It is a statistical phenomenon known to experts as Simpson's Paradox, named after Bart Simpson. (I'm just kidding about Bart.) However, Here is a link that discusses Simpson's Paradox and uses SAT data to explain.
Here is another link that shows the growing minority population.
Here is another one that shows the growing number of students who have limited English.
Here is a link that shows Indiana's increase in percentages of students passing ISTEP Math.
Here is a link that shows Indiana's increase in percentages of students passing ISTEP Language.
Now here is my point.
1. There is a fairly significant achievement gap among the races.
2. AND the percentage of minorities has increased.
3. AND the percentage of students with limited English has gone up dramatically.
4. YET, despite these barriers, ISTEP scores in Indiana have gone up in Math and Language
What am I trying to say?
Despite increasing numbers of students who have traditionally had more difficulty on such tests, Indiana has improved. While this could be a function of Indiana's subpopulations not growing as rapidly as the rest of the nation, it could also be that Indiana has improved enough to buck the trend and beat the odds. Let's hope that's true.
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