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The United States Department of Education says White and Asian students continue to do better on tests than black and Latino students. The department’s 2015 Nation’s Report Card shows a long-lasting education gap between racial groups in the United States. Marcelo Suarez-Orozco is an education professor at the University of California in Los Angeles. He says that Latino and black students face financial difficulties and other challenges that can prevent them from succeeding in their studies. He says students from lower-income families in the U.S. are more likely to miss class because of health problems, such as asthma and tooth decay. Suarez-Orozco says one reason for the education gap is low attendance rates in primary and secondary schools. Transportation problems and difficult home environments are other factors. As students miss more classes, they become less likely to score well on tests and graduate from high school. Ken O’Donnell is California State University’s Senior Director of Student Engagement. He says poverty, language, legal status and race are all factors that add to an achievement gap that continues into college. He says the achievement gap can have serious effects. Students who are not prepared for college are more likely to leave school. Or they might take longer to graduate. This means that they may never receive the benefits of a college degree.