St. Ignatius

Disagreggated Ethnic Achievement Data Study (2008)

In response to specific an inquiry regarding how SI matches up to national ethnicity achievement gaps and the 2006 WASC study, this study of HSTP, PSAT, SAT, ACT, and GPA scores by ethnicity was undertaken. Several things became apparent:

  • There is little doubt that there are differences in achievement scores among the various ethnic groups represented at SI. The variance is wider when the students come into SI than when they graduate, though.
  • The significant differences from the group mean evidenced by the HSTP scores have all but disappeared on the PSAT, SAT and ACT.  Other schools nationally do not mirror this "gap closure."
  • The GPAs evidence roughly the same sequence order as the test scores, though the variance is somewhat wider. Given that the score gaps closed, it would have be logical to expect the GPA variances to close as well. The African American (and sometimes the African American+) GPAs are consistently below the rest of the class in all departments. This might be because the cumulative department GPAs are gathered for placement and include lower level course grades that precede the standardized test score gap closure, so they include scores from all the four years during which the test scores changed. 

It should be noted, though, that research of the 1980s and 1990s demonstrated that Ethnicity is not one of the primary indicators of achievement. Those indicators are Socio-Economic Status and the education level of the parents. While ethnicity correlates with those indicators to a certain extent, it is not a contributing factor when SES and parent education are taken into consideration. We presently have not established a consistent way to track SES and parent education in a way that would allow for the research parallel to this report.

The full report is available here.