Nation's Report Card: Writing test shows gender gap

Article here. Excerpt:

'According to the board, performances varied by race, ethnicity, gender, school location and other factors, such as parents’ educational attainment. But the most notable achievement gap was between males and females in both eighth and 12th grades.

On average, female students in the eighth grade scored 160; their male counterparts scored 140.

On average, female students in the 12th grade scored 157; males scored 143.

Education analyst Susan Pimentel, one of the team presenting the test scores on Friday’s NAEP conference call, said that while this test cannot determine cause and effect, there are some clues as to why the gap exists. Students were surveyed to find out some additional information about them as they took the test. Among those surveyed, said Pimentel, 53% of girls agreed or strongly agreed that “Writing is one of my favorite activities”, but only 35% of the boys felt that way. Since writing improves with practice, she said this is “an important variable to observe.”'