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Surprise, Surprise! Study Finds Achievement Gap Progress Stops In Eighties (When Poverty Rates Begin To Rise)

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The Washington Post has a report on a new study from The Educational Testing Service.

It finds that:

“…there was a steady narrowing of the achievement gap from the 1970s until the late 1980s. Scores essentially remained the same since then.”

That’s about the same time the poverty rate in the U.S. began to rise after a steady period of getting lower.

Here’s another quote from the article from the study’s author:

Restarting progress in closing the achievement gap must be addressed on multiple levels, Coley said.

ā€œEntire neighborhoods may have to be uplifted in terms of their economic capital, school quality, safety and health structures,ā€ he said.

Obviously, a report like this does not remove a school’s responsibility to do everything it can to reduce the achievement gap. But it does point to other things that have to be done…

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

One Comment

  1. I teach in a high poverty school 78%+. Poverty, drugs, abuse, and failure are everyday realities for my students. How am I to cover fractions when a student is hungery from missing dinner and breakfast because their parent was arrested that night? The answer comes down to understanding the child’s needs and then finding help. I have feed, clothed and then taught them. The family starts to understand I am there for the whole child. My kids preform well on test because they want to show how much they have learned. Understand their deficiets, and build upon their strengths – simple but hard to individualize. Our economy has only made the gap wider in eduation.

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