LSU College of Education Professor Publishes Book on Standardized Testing Achievement Gap

11/22/2011 10:21 AM

BATON ROUGE – LSU assistant professor Keena Arbuthnot’s first book, “Filling in the Blanks: Understanding Standardized Testing and the Black-White Achievement Gap,” has been published by Information Age Publishing.  


Arbuthnot is an assistant professor in the College of Education Department of Educational Theory, Policy and Practice.


“Filling in the Blanks” presents several new theories that address why black students do not perform as well as their white counterparts. The book is dedicated to helping policymakers, researchers, academics and teachers better understand standardized testing and the black-white achievement gap.


“I was inspired to do this research based on my experience as a high school math teacher,” Arbuthnot said. “As a teacher, I was oftentimes frustrated and confused about my students’ performance on standardized tests. I wanted to learn as much as I could about standardized tests and why white students on average outperformed black students. I’ve spent the last 10 years of my academic career studying standardized testing and the black-white achievement gap.”


“Filling in the Blanks” provides a wealth of background information as well as the most recent findings about testing and measurement concepts essential to understanding standardized tests. The book then reviews theories and research which explain the differences in performance between black and white test takers on many standardized tests. 


Arbuthnot presents novel and innovative perspectives to understanding these test performance differences. The book also offers a host of recommendations that are intended to address the concerns and questions of several stakeholder groups.  


Arbuthnot earned a doctorate in philosophy in educational psychology in 2005 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, specializing in psychometrics/educational measurement, applied statistics and program evaluation. She earned a master’s of education degree in educational psychology from 2002, also from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from the University of Central Missouri  in 1999.


In 2005, Arbuthnot became a lecturer on education and a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard Graduate School of Education.


“Filling in the Blanks” can be purchased on or Barnes &


For more information about the LSU College of Education, visit

Billy  Gomila 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2011