Achievement Gap

  • Where poor students are top of the class, By Lauren Camera, June 20, 2017, US News: “Children in schools dotting the districts along the Rio Grande River in Texas are overwhelmingly poor and Hispanic, and many of them are still learning English – all indicators associated with low academic achievement. But in a handful of cities there, students are bucking that assumption by performing just as well, and in some cases better, than their wealthier peers…”
  • Is California’s investment in needy students paying off? Few signs indicate achievement gap is closing, By Jessica Calefati, June 22, 2017, KQED: “California’s new system for funding public education has pumped tens of billions of extra dollars into struggling schools, but there’s little evidence yet that the investment is helping the most disadvantaged students. A CALmatters analysis of the biggest districts with the greatest clusters of needy children found limited success with the policy’s goal: to close the achievement gap between these students and their more privileged peers. Instead, results in most of those places show the gap is growing…”

High School Graduation Rates

  • Minnesota high school graduation rates show narrowing achievement gap, By Beena Raghavendran and Beatrice Dupuy, February 24, 2017, Star Tribune: “Graduation rates for black students at Minnesota high schools rose 3 percentage points in 2016, a sign of progress in narrowing the achievement gap between white students and students of color, according to data released Thursday by the state Department of Education.  While the black students’ gains were most pronounced, the graduation rate for all students also continued along a slow upward trend. Across Minnesota, 82.2 percent of last year’s senior class graduated within four years — the highest overall rate recorded by the department…”
  • How Boston achieved its record high school graduation rate, By Josh Kenworthy, March 3, 2017, Christian Science Monitor: “Dante Omorogbe might sound like any other school kid rattling off his grades: ‘A – for senior math, A- in Algebra …,’ but for the 21-year-old senior, they mean so much more.  Mr. Omorogbe originally was set to graduate in 2014. That was until, after a fight with his dad, he was ‘tossed’ out on the street. Eventually, his grandmother took him in for a while, but with her working during the day, Omorogbe needed to care for his gravely ill grandfather. School eventually became too much, so he dropped it…”

Achievement Gap – Oregon

Oregon test scores Show persistent achievement gaps based on race, income, By Rob Manning, September 8, 2016, Oregon Public Broadcasting: “Standardized test scores released Thursday show Oregon students improved, but only by one percentage point, on average, compared to last year.  The Smarter Balanced exams continue to show enormous achievement gaps based on race…”

Kindergarten Readiness Gap

  • Study: Poor kindergartners are catching up, By Lauren Camera, August 26, 2016, US News and World Report: “After decades of exponential growth in the gap of kindergarten academic readiness between poor students and their wealthier peers, that fissure is finally closing.  Between 1998 and 2010, the difference in kindergarten readiness between high- and low-income children narrowed by 10 percent to 16 percent, according to a study published Friday in AERA Open, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association.  Previously, that academic achievement gap between poor and wealthy children had grown by about 40 percent since the 1970s…”
  • Low-income kindergartners are closing the achievement gap, reversing a decades-old trend, By Emma Brown, August 26, 2016, Washington Post: “Low-income kindergartners are entering school with stronger math and reading skills, narrowing the academic gap with their affluent peers and reversing a decades-old trend, according to research released Friday.  The good news surprised researchers, who had expected to see school-readiness gaps growing — particularly given the broad societal trends of increasing income inequality and economic segregation…”

Racial Achievement Gap – Iowa, Kentucky

  • Preschool — The solution to black achievement gap?, By Mackenzie Ryan, May 23, 2016, Des Moines Register: “It’s mid-morning, and Evevett Fugate has been up all night. After clocking out of her overnight McDonald’s shift at 6 a.m. and returning home, she readies her four children for school, making sure the oldest three catch the bus in the morning. She takes her youngest, Ovalia, to preschool class for 4-year-olds, then picks her up at 11 a.m.  Although Fugate’s overnight work allows her to attend school activities, she has enrolled Ovalia in early childhood programs since age 2 because she knows how vital is it for children to get an early jump on kindergarten, whether it be learning letters or picking up social skills…”
  • Despite advances, racial achievement gap widens, By Luba Ostashevsky, May 23, 2016, Louisville Courier-Journal: “The second-graders in Sarah Bowling’s class at Dunn Elementary were on a mathematical scavenger hunt. Students cradling clipboards moved around the room matching groupings of things and learning the concept that three groups of five things total the same as five groups of three things. In the middle of the room,  three students received individualized instruction because they had fallen short of academic expectations. While Dunn has students of all skill levels, there remains a gap in student achievement, particularly between the school’s African-American students and the rest of the students. Such gaps were a major consideration for state educational leaders more than five years ago, when Kentucky became the first state to adopt the Common Core…”

Racial Achievement Gap

  • New research uncovers little improvement in achievement gap, By Sarah Sparks, May 9, 2016, PBS NewsHour: “Fifteen years of new programs, testing, standards, and accountability have not ended racial achievement gaps in the United States. The Stanford Education Data Archive, a massive new database that allows researchers to compare school districts across state lines has led to the unwelcome finding that racial achievement gaps yawn in nearly every district in the country— and the districts with the most resources in place to serve all students frequently have the worst inequities…”
  • Seattle schools have biggest white-black achievement gap in state, By Gene Balk, May 9, 2016, Seattle Times: “White kids in Seattle’s public schools are doing great. They’re performing about two grade levels above the national average on standardized exams. That finding comes from a sweeping new Stanford studyof 2009-2012 test scores from third- through eighth-grade students around the country. But for black kids in Seattle, the data from that study paint a very different picture. They test one and a half grade levels below the U.S. average. Compared with their white peers in the city, black students lag by three and a half grade levels. That ranks Seattle, among the 200 biggest school districts in the U.S., as having the fifth-biggest gap in achievement between black and white students…”

Racial Achievement Gap and High-Poverty Schools

The concentration of poverty in American schools, By Janie Boschman and Ronald Brownstein, February 29, 2016, The Atlantic: “In almost all major American cities, most African American and Hispanic students attend public schools where a majority of their classmates qualify as poor or low-income, a new analysis of federal data shows. This systemic economic and racial isolation looms as a huge obstacle for efforts to make a quality education available to all American students. Researchers have found that the single-most powerful predictor of racial gaps in educational achievement is the extent to which students attend schools surrounded by other low-income students…”

Racial Achievement Gap – Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s racial achievement gap widens, By Abigail Becker, December 16, 2015, Appleton Post-Crescent: “When Madison Memorial High School sophomore Demitrius Kigeya solves math problems in his head, other students give him surprised looks. He believes it is because he is black.  ‘I just pay attention in class and do my homework,’ said Kigeya, 15.  Odoi Lassey, 16, a junior, echoed Kigeya’s feelings. ‘People don’t expect you to know anything,’ explained Lassey, who, like Kigeya, is a high academic performer, plays on the high school soccer team and is active in Memorial’s Black Student Union. ‘It’s almost as if you know something, they think you’re weird or you’re acting white … some people think you’re not black just because you try to help yourself out and do well in school.’  The negative stereotype that follows students such as Kigeya and Lassey is rooted in Wisconsin’s dismal racial academic achievement record…”

Achievement Gap

  • Achievement gap in D.C. starts in infancy, report shows, By Michael Alison Chandler, December 10, 2015, Washington Post: “The District is a national leader in providing universal access to preschool for 4- and 5-year olds, an investment designed to improve school readiness and narrow a a rich-poor achievement gap that is apparent by kindergarten.  But, according to a new report produced by Child Trends and commissioned by the Bainum Family Foundation, the achievement gap starts much earlier — in infancy — and the city isn’t prepared to deal with it…”
  • Black students struggling more in Michigan than other states, according to report, By Jonathan Oosting, December 10, 2015, MLive.com: “African-American students are further behind their peers in Michigan than in most other states, according to a new report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.  African American students are disproportionally impacted by shortcomings in the national education system, according to the report, which points to ongoing struggles to improve outcomes for minority students and close achievement gaps…”
  • Minority students make gains, but achievement gap remains, By Mary Niederberger, December 10, 2015, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “While there has been some improvement in academic achievement among African-American students since the early 1990s, overall performance levels remain critically low nationally, and Pennsylvania’s results fall below national averages. That information was contained in the report ‘The Path Forward: Improving Opportunities For African-American Students,’ released today by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the NAACP…”

National Assessment of Educational Progress

  • Nationwide test shows dip in students’ math abilities, By Motoko Rich, October 28, 2015, New York Times: “For the first time since 1990, the mathematical skills of American students have dropped, according to results of a nationwide test released by the Education Department on Wednesday. The decline appeared in both Grades 4 and 8 in an exam administered every two years as the National Assessment of Educational Progress and sometimes called ‘the nation’s report card.’  The dip in scores comes as the country’s employers demand workers with ever-stronger skills in mathematics to compete in a global economy. It also comes as states grapple with the new Common Core academic standards and a rebellion against them…”
  • U.S. student performance slips on national test, By Emma Brown, October 28, 2015, Washington Post: “Fourth-graders and eighth-graders across the United States lost ground on national mathematics tests this year, the first declines in scores since the federal government began administering the exams in 1990. Reading performance also was sobering: Eighth-grade scores dropped,according to results released Wednesday, while fourth-grade performance was stagnant compared with 2013, the last time students took the test…”

Early Childhood Education

The education gap among America’s youngest students, By Aimee Picchi, June 17, 2015, CBS News: “An education disaster is in the making, and it’s starting before children even reach kindergarten. Poor American kids are arriving at kindergarten with lagging academic and ‘noncognitive skills,’ such as self-control and approaches to learning, when compared with children of high-income families, according to a new report from the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. Those education gaps have grown increasingly noticeable in more recent generations, which may be due to demographic shifts in the American population, such as more children being born into poverty and more growing up in single-parent households…”

Achievement Gap – Michigan

6 facts about Michigan’s low-income students and 6 interventions proven to work, By Julie Mack, February 3, 2015, MLive.com: “The achievement gap between middle-class and low-income students is readily evident when looking at Michigan’s test scores, graduation rates and other academic outcomes. For instance, Michigan fourth-graders from low-income families were only half as likely to test proficient in math in 2013-14 compared to their middle-class and affluent peers. In the Class of 2013 at Michigan’s public high schools, 87 percent of middle-class and affluent students graduated on time compared to 64 percent from low-income households. The challenges associated with educating low-income children forms the basis of a new ranking of Michigan schools, based on a formula that compares test scores to percent of the school population eligible for the federal subsidized lunch program…”

Achievement Gap – Wisconsin

Schools share best practices to close achievement gaps, By Erin Richards and Kelly Meyerhofer, September 25, 2014, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “In a move aimed at closing Wisconsin’s persistent achievement gaps — especially between white students and those of color — state Superintendent Tony Evers on Thursday announced a set of “what works” strategies collected from schools around the state. But the new report was only part of the message on achievement gaps that Evers wanted to get across in Madison on Thursday during his annual State of Education address. The more controversial part: Evers says Wisconsin’s predominantly white, middle-class teachers need to dramatically change what they’re doing to better help black and Hispanic children succeed…”

Student Loan Debt and Black Students

It’s hardest for black students to get the financial benefits of college, By Natalie Kitroeff, September 2, 2014, Bloomberg BusinessWeek: “Black students rely more on student loans to pay for college than other racial groups and they’re less likely to pay off the debt, according to a study released today. The research was presented at a conference on higher education and minorities in Washington, D.C., hosted by the University of California, Los Angeles, Civil Rights Project. “Student debt today has a color,” said Sara Goldrick-Rab, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and the study’s lead author, at the conference. Most of the people who borrow for their education are white, Goldrick-Rab said, but a larger share of black students and are in debt than any other racial group…”

Minnesota High School Graduation Rate

Minnesota graduation rate rose in 2013, By Kim McGuire and Steve Brandt, February 20, 2014, Minneapolis Star Tribune: “The graduation rate for Minnesota students is the highest it’s been in a decade, even though many minority students continue to lag behind their white peers when it comes to getting a diploma on time, new state data show. About 79 percent of all students graduated in 2013, up from 72 percent in 2003. Last year, 85 percent of white students, 56 percent of black students and 58 percent of Hispanic students graduated, according to data released Wednesday by the Minnesota Department of Education. State education leaders said they are encouraged by the new data, which show minority students making big gains from year to year…”

Achievement Gaps

  • Academic achievement gap persists for Hispanic students, By Martha Mendoza, December 22, 2013, Los Angeles Daily News: “As Hispanics surpass white Californians in population next year, the state becomes a potential model for the rest of the country, which is going through a slower but similar demographic shift. But when it comes to how California is educating students of color, many say the state serves as a model of what not to do. In California, 52 percent of the state’s 6 million school children are Hispanic, just 26 percent are white…”
  • D.C. high school graduation rate ticks up, but wide achievement gaps remain, By Emma Brown, December 20, 2013, Washington Post: “The District’s high school graduation rate ticked up to 64 percent in 2013, a three-point gain over the previous year, according to data that city officials quietly released last week. But the city average — long among the lowest in the country — masks wide gaps between different groups of students and different schools, with charter schools and the school system’s selective high schools posting higher rates than traditional neighborhood schools…”

NAEP Trial Urban District Assessment

  • Big city schools making progress but still have far to go, report says, By Stacy Teicher Khadaroo and Amanda Paulson, December 18, 2013, Christian Science Monitor: “Public school students in some of America’s biggest cities have made significant long-term gains, according to the latest data released by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), often known as the Nation’s Report Card. Despite that progress, some subsets of students are still languishing at very low achievement levels. Wednesday’s report on the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) gives snapshots of reading and math achievement for fourth- and eighth-graders in 21 districts and comes 10 years after the first TUDA…”
  • Detroit Public Schools’ scores improve, but still at bottom on Nation’s Report Card; poverty a factor, By Chastity Pratt Dawsey, December 18, 2013, Detroit Free Press: “For the third time in a row, Detroit Public Schools scored the worst among urban school districts that participated in the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA), which released fourth- and eighth-graders’ reading and math scores today from the rigorous test known as the Nation’s Report Card. DPS posted the lowest scores among the 21 cities that voluntarily took part in the TUDA. DPS has participated since 2009, allowing its scores to be publicized. Other district scores are not made public…”
  • MPS shows slight gain in reading, math scores on national exam, By Erin Richards, December 18, 2013, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Milwaukee Public Schools students’ average reading and math scores on a national exam ticked up slightly in fourth and eighth grade between 2009 and 2013, according to a new report released Wednesday. But — and there always seems to be a ‘but’ — only the score change in eighth-grade math was statistically significant over those years. And compared with the performance of 20 other urban districts in 2013, MPS ranked in the bottom four for math and the bottom six for reading…”
  • Test-score gap widens between white, black students in Chicago, By Becky Schlikerman, December 18, 2013, Chicago Sun-Times: “The performance gap between Chicago’s black and white students — and between its poorest students and their wealthier classmates — continues to widen, newly released data show. Black Chicago Public Schools students fell further behind whites in three of four key measures, according to the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress, often called the Nation’s Report Card…”

National Assessment of Educational Progress

  • U.S. reading and math scores show slight gains, By Motoko Rich, November 7, 2013, New York Times: “American fourth and eighth graders showed incremental gains in reading and math this year, but achievement gaps between whites and blacks, whites and Hispanics, and low-income and more affluent students stubbornly persist, data released by the Education Department on Thursday showed. The results of the tests — administered every two years as the National Assessment of Educational Progress, sometimes called the nation’s report card — continued an upward trend in both areas over the past two decades. But still, far less than half of the nation’s students are performing at a level deemed proficient in either math or reading…”
  • US ‘report card’ for 2013: Student achievement creeps upward, By Amanda Paulson, November 7, 2013, Christian Science Monitor: “America’s students continue to make incremental improvements in math in fourth and eighth grades, and in eighth-grade reading. But schools and educators have made little progress on closing gaps in student performance by race – even over a two-decade period – and the gains that have been made are small ones…”
  • U.S. students show incremental progress on national test, By Lyndsey Layton, November 7, 2013, Washington Post: “The nation’s fourth- and eighth-graders made incremental progress on math and reading tests administered earlier this year by the federal government, according to data released Thursday. The results detail performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, that U.S. students have taken every two years since the early 1990s. Also known as the Nation’s Report Card, it’s the country’s most consistent measure of K-12 progress…”

Students in Foster Care and Academic Achievement

Students in foster care face ‘invisible achievement gap,’ study says, By Teresa Watanabe, October 13, 2013, Los Angeles Times: “Thousands of California students in foster care are suffering from an ‘invisible achievement gap,’ with worse academic performance, a higher dropout rate and placement in more failing schools than their statewide peers, according to a study set for release Monday. The study, which provides the first detailed statewide look at foster youths and their academic challenges, was made possible by a new data-sharing agreement between the state education and social services agencies. It comes as school districts across California prepare to launch the nation’s first effort to systematically address the yawning academic deficiencies among foster youths, using additional money provided by the state’s new school financing law…”

National Assessment of Educational Progress

  • Academic achievement gap is narrowing, new national data show, By Lyndsey Layton, June 27, 2013, Washington Post: “The nation’s 9-year-olds and 13-year-olds are posting better scores in math and reading tests than their counterparts did 40 years ago, and the achievement gap between white students and those of color still persists but is narrowing, according to new federal government data released Thursday. The scores, collected regularly since the 1970s from federal tests administered to public and private school students age 9, 13, and 17, paint a picture of steady student achievement that contradicts the popular notion that U.S. educational progress has stalled…”
  • Achievement gap narrows on long-term NAEP, By Erik W. Robelen, June 27, 2013, Education Week: “Achievement gaps for black and Hispanic youths have declined by substantial margins in reading and math since the early 1970s, according to new federal data issued Thursday. The gaps with their white peers, while still in evidence, have narrowed across all three age levels tested as part of a national assessment of long-term trends that offers a look at test data spanning some 40 years…”