The release of the latest scores on the National Assessment of Education (NAEP) shows that immigrant students who speak a language other than English at home perform poorly compared to English speaking students in Eighth Grade Mathematics. The math assessment showed scores that were .28 standard deviations lower for students speaking English as a 2nd language. A 2013 American Community Survey shows that 73 percent of children who speak a language other than English at home live in immigrant-headed households, which is a fairly obvious but important statistic.
Poverty is also a factor that correlates with poor academic performance. On the same eighth-grade math test, students eligible for free or reduced-price school lunches scored .82 standard deviations below students who were not eligible. According to a recent March Current Population Survey,almost one in three students receiving free or reduced-priced school lunch is from an immigrant household.
A recent report from the Urban Institute found that states with high levels of immigration, such as Florida and Texas, fare poorly on national comparisons, but once factors such as student poverty and English ability are controlled for, both states do much better. But the relatively low scores of students who do not speak English at home or who live in poverty are indication of the challenges that face certain schools with a higher portion of their students being from lower-skilled immigrant families.