Saturday, August 22, 2009

Big Gender Gaps for 12th Graders on NAEP Exams

Results from the 2005-2006 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests:

For 12th graders taking the Economics subject exam in 2006 (data available here), the mean score for male students was 152 and the mean score for female students was 148, and that gap of 4 points was statistically significant at the 1% level (p = .0071). Likewise, in 2005 there was a statistically significant gender gap in favor of males by 4 points on the Science exam (149 average for males vs. 145 for females), and a statistically significant two point gap for the Math exam (151 average for males vs. 149 females).

In contrast, there was a statistically significant gender gap in favor of females by 13 points on the reading exam (292 mean for females vs. 279 for males), and a statistically significant difference of 18 points in favor of females on the writing exam (162 mean vs. 144).

Originally posted at Carpe Diem.


At 8/22/2009 5:14 PM, Blogger KO said...

I think results like this only surpise the PC police. Well I'm not really convinced that they actually believe males and females are the same.

At 8/22/2009 6:45 PM, Anonymous Dr. T said...

The male-female gaps widen when you look at top scores. In Economics, the 90th percentile score is 195 for boys and 188 for girls. In Science, the 90th percentile score is 192 for boys and 185 for girls.

The magnitudes of the 90th percentile score gaps are almost twice as large as the mean score gaps. This indicates that on these Economics and Science exams, average boys do better than average girls, and exceptional boys do much better than exceptional girls. On the Science exam, the 10th percentile scores are almost identical (102 for boys and 101 for girls). These results are different than other findings that showed boys doing worse at low percentiles and better at high percentiles. Here, boys equalled girls at low percentiles and exceeded the girls at all higher percentiles.


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