Mathematics Achievement of Language-Minority Students During the Elementary Years

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Wed Dec 17 01:24:20 UTC 2008

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 *Mathematics Achievement of Language-Minority Students During the
Elementary Years*

This Issue Brief uses data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study,
Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 (ECLS-K) to examine the scores of
public-school language-minority students on a mathematics assessment in 1st
grade, as well as the gain in their scores between 1st and 5th grades.
Scores are reported by three background characteristics--student's
race/ethnicity, poverty status, and mother's education--that have been found
to be related to achievement. The findings indicate that language-minority
students (English Proficient students and English Language Learners) scored
lower on a 1st-grade mathematics assessment than did students whose primary
home language was English. Between 1st and 5th grades, there was no
measurable difference in gain scores on the mathematics assessment among the
three language groups. However, gain score differences within and between
the language groups were found by student background characteristics. For
example, Asian language-minority students made greater gains than their
Hispanic peers.

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