Trajectories of achievement within race/ethnicity: "Catching up" in achievement across time

Pamela E. Davis-Kean, Justin Jager

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The achievement gap has long been the focus of educational research, policy, and intervention. The authors took a new approach to examining the achievement gap by examining achievement trajectories within each racial group. To identify these trajectories they used the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort, which is a nationally representative sample of students in kindergarten through Grade 5. In the analyses, the authors found heterogeneity within each racial group in mathematics and reading achievement, suggesting that there are in fact achievement gaps within each race/ethnicity group. The authors also found that there are groups that catch up to the highest achieving groups by Grade 5, suggesting a positive impact of schooling on particular subgroups of children. The authors discuss the various trajectories that have been found in each racial group and the implications this has for future research on the achievement gap.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-208
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Educational Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 4 2014


  • achievement gap
  • longitudinal
  • race/ethnicity
  • trajectories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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