Before we present information on the academic performance of African-American students across the country, it is important to note that the African-American population is not evenly distributed from state to state. Some states have a far higher concentration of African-American students than others.1 This is a word of caution when interpreting some of the findings later in this report, as statistics showing that some states perform particularly well or particularly poorly are educating a very small number of African-American students might be affected by the state’s small sample size. Where appropriate, we will note where we think state results are clear outliers driven by a small number of students, and we will not produce top five/bottom five lists for several indicators because of the variance.
To put together this table, we pulled enrollment numbers from the National Center on Education Statistics Elementary/Secondary Information System (ElSi). These are enrollment numbers for public school students during the 2013–2014 school year, the most recent data available.
1For the purpose of this report, some of the consulted data sources stated student race as either African American or black, and some use both interchangeably. For consistency purposes, we use African American. In addition, several data sources include data for "multi-racial", "biracial", or "two or more races." Given that we are unable to discern if that includes African-American or black students, that data was not included.
|State||Number of African-American Students||Total Number of Students||Percentage of African-American Students in the State|
|District of Columbia||57,483||78,153||73.6%|