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The abstracts used in this resource were taken from the websites of organizations supplying the referenced documents.
Bainbridge, W., & Lashley, T. (2002). Demographics, diversity, and K-12 accountability: The challenge of closing the achievement gap. Education and Urban Society, 34(4), 422-437.
The achievement gap persists within American classrooms. Although teachers do make a difference in terms of what and how much students achieve, educational practitioners and policymakers would be well served to consider social inequities created by demographic realities, instructional practices that engender broad student participation, and accountability measures that compare districts fairly.
Barton, P., & Coley, R. (2008). Windows on achievement and inequality. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service, Policy Evaluation and Research Center.
As required by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), educators are continuously monitoring whether more or fewer students are scoring at a level termed Proficient. But what about changes in the distribution of scores? Barton and Coley examine what is happening to both top-performing and lower-performing students and how the distribution of scores is changing in the United States. The authors also seek to demystify reported scores by providing examples of the kinds of knowledge and skills that students are likely to be able to demonstrate at particular score levels. They describe the many windows of achievement that parents, educators, policymakers, researchers, and the media should be looking through, in order to understand how our students are performing, and what aspects of education warrant further attention.
Cannon, J. S., & Karoly, L. A. (2007). The promise of preschool for narrowing readiness and achievement gaps among California children. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation.
California has fallen behind on many key indicators of education performance, prompting policymakers to look for strategies to improve student outcomes. Among the policy options being considered is the possibility of expanding public funding for preschool education as part of a broader agenda of education reform. To provide a foundation for evaluating the potential of such an expansion and how best to implement it, the RAND Corporation is undertaking the California Preschool Study. This research brief summarizes the findings of the first part of the study, which is on school achievement and the potential of preschool to make a difference.
Clotfelter, C., Ladd, H. & Vigdor, J. (2006). The academic achievement gap in grades 3 to 8. Durham, NC: Duke University.
Using data for North Carolina public school students in grades 3 to 8, we examine achievement gaps between white students and students from other racial and ethnic groups. Our results on achievement gaps between black and white students are consistent with those from other longitudinal studies: the gaps are sizable, are robust to control for measures of socioeconomic status, and show no monotonic trend between 3rd and 8th grade. In contrast, both Hispanic and Asian students tend to gain on whites as they progress through these grades. Racial gaps differ widely across geographic areas within the state; very few of the districts or groups of districts that we examined have managed simultaneously to close the black-white gap and raise the relative test scores of black students.
Ferguson, R. (2000). Cultivating new routines that foster high achievement for all students. Boston, MA: Harvard University, Wiener Center for Social Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Describes reasons for minority achievement gap; suggests ways for school and community members to adopt routines to alleviate the gap; discusses use of transition clusters to achieve transitions to new routines; reviews research on conditions that promote engagement; and suggests topics and methods for additional relevant research. (Abstract from ERIC)
Hanushek, E. & Rivkin, S. (2006). School quality and the black-white achievement gap. (Working Paper 12651). Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.
Substantial uncertainty exists about the impact of school quality on the black-white achievement gap. Our results, based on both Texas Schools Project administrative data and the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey, differ noticeably from other recent analyses of the black-white achievement gap by providing strong evidence that schools have a substantial effect on the differential. The majority of the expansion of the achievement gap with age occurs between rather than within schools, and specific school and peer factors exert a significant effect on the growth in the achievement gap.
Hemphill, F. C., & Vanneman, A. (2011). Achievement gaps: How Hispanic and White students in public schools perform in mathematics and reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NCES 2011-459). Washington, DC: US Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics.
This report provides detailed information on the size of the achievement gaps between Hispanic and White public school students at the national and state levels and describes how those achievement gaps have changed over time.
Klein, L., & Knitzer, J. (2007). Promoting effective early learning: What every policymaker and educator should know. New York, NY: Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health, National Center for Children in Poverty.
This brief provides a blueprint for state and local policymakers, early learning administrators, teachers, families, community leaders, and researchers [that allows them] to use effective preschool curricula and teaching strategies to help low-income young children close the achievement gap in early literacy and math to be ready for kindergarten like their more affluent peers. It is part of a series of publications from the Pathways to Early School Success project of NCCP. The brief and the more in-depth report -- Effective Preschool Curricula and Teaching Strategies -- are both based on a meeting that NCCP convened bringing together distinguished researchers, as well as a careful review of recently funded research.
Leiberman, G., & Hoody, L. (1998). Closing the achievement gap: Using the environment as an integrating context for learning. San Diego, CA: State Education and Environment Roundtable.
This report, prepared by the State Education and Environment Roundtable, is the story of the schools, teachers and students who are involved in implementing EIC. It presents the results of a nationwide study; describes the major concepts and assumptions underlying the EIC; explores a range of successful EIC programs across the United States; identifies the major characteristics of successful EIC programs; and analyzes the implications of EIC-based education for student learning and instruction.
Reardon, S. (2011). The widening academic achievement gap between the rich and the poor: New evidence and possible explanations. Stanford, CA: Stanford University, Center for Education Policy Analysis.
This book chapter examines whether and how the relationship between family socioeconomic characteristics and academic achievement has changed during the last fifty years. It seeks to determine whether the achievement gap between children in high and low income families has widened as the income gap between these families has grown. The author concludes that the answer is yes and discusses key trends along with other significant findings.
Reardon, S. F., & Robinson, J. P. (2008). Patterns and trends in racial/ethnic and socioeconomic academic achievement gaps. In Helen F. Ladd and Edward B. Fiske (eds.) Handbook of Research in Education Finance and Policy.
Racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in academic achievement remain a stubborn fact of schooling in the United States. Considerable attention has been focused on achievement gaps, particularly the black-white achievement gap. Scholars and educators have suggested a number of possible explanations for these gaps, and policy makers, principals, and teachers have tried a range of remedies. As this chapter documents, however, the gaps persist despite these efforts. Moreover, our understanding of the causes and patterns of these achievement gaps is far from complete.
Rothman, R. (2001). Closing the achievement gap: How schools are making it happen. The Journal of the Annenberg Challenge, 5(2), 1-12.
This document describes the efforts and successes of some school districts as they work to reduce the socio-economic and racial achievement gaps between students.
Williams, B. (2003). Closing the achievement gap: A vision for changing beliefs and practices. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Chapters in this book, based on the efforts of the Urban Education National Network Task Force, define the nature of obstacles to the academic performance of urban students and identify, validate, and disseminate a knowledge base of theory and practice to inform decision making about urban schools.
For additional information and bibliographies, see The Achievement Gap in North Carolina.