From the New York Times:
Historically, the achievement gap between America’s black and white students was widest in Southern states, where the legacies of slavery and segregation were reflected in extremely low math and reading scores among poor African-American children.
But black students have made important gains in several Southern states over two decades, while in some Northern states, black achievement has improved more slowly than white achievement, or has even declined, according to a study of the black-white achievement gap released by the Department of Education this morning.
As a result, the nation’s most dramatic black-white gaps are no longer seen in Southern states like Alabama or Mississippi, but rather in Northern and Midwestern states like Wisconsin, Nebraska, Connecticut and Illinois, according to the federal data.
The study plotted the evolution of average scores of black and white students on the series of federal tests, known as the National Assessment of Educational Progress, that were administered every two to four years in both math and reading from 1992 through 2007.