The reduction in achievement gaps is an important indicator of success for North Carolina schools, which have been focusing attention on this issue for several years. In 2011-12, the achievement gap between black and white students decreased from the previous year to 29.9 percentage points. In the elementary and middle grades in 2011-12, 79.3 percent of white students scored at grade level or better while 49.4 percent of black students did the same. Percentages at or above proficiency for other racial groups are as follows: Asian, 79.1 percent; American Indian, 55.3; Hispanic, 55.1; Pacific Islander, 64.1; and multi-racial, 69.7.
JOB ONE: ATTITUDE
In its report to the State Board of Education, the Advisory Commission on Raising Achievement and Closing Gaps found that "job one" in closing persistent gaps in achievement is believing that it can be done. The Commission offered 11 major recommendations to raise achievement while closing gaps.
PROJECT BRIGHT IDEA
Project Bright Idea nurtures potential in K-2 at-risk ethnic minority children. A collaborative effort between the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and Duke University, Project Bright Idea's goal is to develop a process to equip elementary teachers with the talents and tools necessary for the early identification of minority and/or other students for participation in academically intellectual (AIG) gifted programs.
HISTORICALLY MINORITY COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES CONSORTIUM FOR CLOSING ACHIEVEMENT GAPS
The Historically Minority Colleges and Universities Consortium (HMCU) is composed of 12 public and private colleges and universities that have traditionally served African American and Native American students in North Carolina. The purpose of the HMCU Consortium is to work with schools and communities to close the achievement gap. The work of the consortium includes:
- Establishing Closing the Achievement Gap Centers on the campuses of member institutions.
- Identifying factors affecting the academic performance of minority students.
- Developing strategies to address negative outcomes for minority students.
- Expanding partnerships and providing technical assistance to public schools, families and community organizations.