Continuing my sniffing through the NAEP Data Explorer, today I “explored” differences in digitally-infused pedagogy by race. One of the items on the background questionnaire of the 8th grade NAEP in 2007 was as follows: “When you are doing math for school or homework, how often do you use these different types of computer programs?” One of the listed programs was “A program to practice or drill on math facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division).” Looking at the results for that item disaggregated by race, we get the following (click on image to enlarge):
Overall, African-American students are much more likely to use computers to practice or drill on math facts than White students. Given the significant achievement gap that exists, these differences partly explain why, overall, the there is a negative correlation between using computers to practice or drill on math facts and math achievement. I can’t be entirely sure about the degree to which race confounds that overall relationship without access to the raw (restricted-use) NAEP data.
But, more importantly, is the figure above problematic?