Achievement/Skills Gap

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Achievement, Skills Gap/Education Equity

Here you will find a variety of reports and articles focusing on achievement gap issues that continue to be found in our public education system.  Inclusion here does not indicate Georgia Partnership support of particular positions. Entries go back to 2015.  Broken links should be reported here.


Black and Hispanic Students Make ACT Gains in Many SREB States
Southern Regional Education Board

Recently released national ACT scores show improvements from 2016 to 2017 for Black and Hispanic students in the SREB states. (September 8)

Who Does Work Work For?
ACT Center for Equity in Learning

This report finds that working more than 15 hours per week can be detrimental to the academic success of college students.  And those most vulnerable are students who come to college from under-served backgrounds. Related story. (August 30)

Opening Doors - How Selective Colleges and Universities are Expanding Access for High-Achieving, Low-Income Students
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

This report analyzes the shortcomings of higher ed as an industry in effectively enrolling students from low-income backgrounds, but it also pointed out stories of success at colleges throughout the nation. Related story. (August 23)

Hear My Voice: Strengthening the College Pipeline for Young Men of Color in California
Education Trust - West

This report finds many of California's men of color face persistent discrimination and roadblocks on their path to and thru post-secondary work. Introduction. (July 24)

Some Schools Much Better Than Others at Closing Achievement Gaps Between Their Advantaged and Disadvantaged Students

How is it that some schools have greater success in closing the achievement gap between their advantaged and disadvantaged students while other struggle?  This study digs into that question.  Related story. (July 22)

Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups 2017
National Center of Education Statistics - U.S. DOE

This report profiles recent trends and current conditions in the education of students by racial and ethnic group.  Related story. (July 19)

Multi-racial Adolescents Show No Test Score Gap With Whites

The stark, stubborn racial gaps in educational achievement serve to undermine the promise of equal opportunity.  The divide between white and black students particularly reflects and reinforces unequal life chances.  But not all children fall in to these categories. (July 17)

The 'Word Gap' and One City's Plan to Close It
Brookings - Brown Center Chalkboard

Previous research has shown the number of words toddlers are exposed to has an impact on their learning abilities later.  There is a big "word gap" between low income and their middle and higher income peers. (July 11)

Girlhood Interrupted - The Erasure of Black Girls' Childhood
Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality

This study shows for the first time adults view Black girls as less innocent and more adult-like than their white peers, especially in the 5-14 age group. Related story.  Related story posted July 11. (June 29)

Why Rural Matters - Understanding the Changing Landscape
Rural School and Community Trust

As the 2016 presidential election has brought newfound focus to rural education, this 50-state report urges state and federal leaders to make rural students and their students a far greater priority. Press release. (June 15)

Equity in Education
Education Commission of the States

This special report urges increased intentionality of policy development and assessment through exploring equity-minded questions across four key state policy levers. Introduction. (June 15)

Low-Income, Minority Students Lag in Graduation Rates
Associated Press

Despite rising national graduation rates, low-income and minority students continue to lag behind their peers in finishing high school, according to a study released May 3. (May 5) 

The 2nd Annual - New Education Majority Poll - Black and Latino Parents and Families on Education and Their Children's Future
The Leadership Conference Education Fund

The poll’s findings come at a critically important time for U.S. public education as states are currently developing education plans as part of their obligations under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). What’s clear about the process so far is that states are still not sufficiently responsive to the needs and desires of parents, families and communities of color. Related story. (May 4)

Completing College: A National View of Student Attainment Rates by Race and Ethnicity - Fall 2010 Cohort
National Student Clearinghouse

College completion rates vary widely along racial and ethnic lines, with black and Hispanic students earning credentials at a much lower rate than white and Asian students do. Introduction.  Related story. (April 27)

The Gap Within the Gap

Researchers and policymakers devote considerable effort to understanding gaps in academic achievement between low-income students and their better-off classmates. And rightly so: the income-based achievement gap is a large and growing source of educational inequality in the U.S. (April 13)

The Long-Run Impacts of Same Race-Teachers
I Z A Institute of Labor Economics - Johns Hopkins University

This report shows that assigning a black male to a black teacher in the third, fourth, or fifth grades significantly reduces the probability that he drops out of high school, particularly among the most economically disadvantaged black males. Press release. Related story. (April 10)

More Than Half of the Racial College Completion Gap Explained by Pre-College Factors
New York University Steinhardt College of Culture, Education and Human Development

In this analysis of Texas students, more than 60 percent of the racial gap in college completion rates can be attributed to factors that occur before college - factors that are beyond the control of many colleges and universities. Related story. (April 10)

State-Level Policies Supporting Equitable K-12 Computer Science Education
BNY Mellon

In this report, states’ progress in developing state-level policies that support equitable K–12 computer science education is summarized. Introduction. (April 6)

Unconscious Bias in the Classroom - Evidence and Opportunities

There is underrepresentation of women and racial and ethnic minorities in computer science (CS) and other fields of science. The unconscious bias (UB) of teachers and others may contribute to these gaps. Related story. (March 21)

Every student deserves an education that prepares him or her for lifelong learning, success in the world of work, and participation in representative government. Unfortunately, far too many students are not receiving the high quality educational experiences needed to help them reach these goals. Related story. (February 3)

Mobility Report Cards:  The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility
Multiple Contributors

Education has long been cast as the “great equalizer” of American society. Post-secondary colleges, and in particular public universities, are especially prized as engines of upward mobility. As research shows, some institutions are more effective in this regard than others. Related story. (February 3)


Bridging the Computer Science Education Gap: Five Actions States Can Take
Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Commission on computer and Information Technology

This report offers five actions for states and schools to help more young people — especially girls, black and Hispanic students, and students from low-income families — learn computer science and explore and choose careers in computing fields. Executive Summary. Introduction. (December 16)

Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education - Key Data Highlights Focusing on Race and Ethnicity and Promising Practices
U.S. Department of Education

A bachelor’s degree can be one of the surest pathways to economic advancement, but this report indicates that access to that opportunity has grown increasingly unequal over the past few decades. Related story. (November 22)

Do Low-Income Students Have Equal Access to Effective Teachers? Evidence from 26 Districts
Institute of Education Sciences - U.S. Department of Education

Some findings: High- and low-income students have similar chances of being taught by the most effective teachers and the least effective teachers. There are small differences in the effectiveness of teachers of high- and low-income students in the average study district. Executive summary. Related story. (November 8)

Teacher Race and School Discipline

Across the United States, black and Latino students are far more likely than their white classmates to be removed from school as punishment. Related story. (November 3)

Have Gender Gaps in Math Closed? Achievement, Teacher Perceptions, and Learning Behaviors Across Two ECLS-K Cohorts
AERA - Open

The gender gap in math may start at kindergarten ― and preschool teachers may unintentionally play some role in it. Abstract. Related story. (November 3) 

High School Benchmarks National College Progression Rates
National Student Clearinghouse

Forty-five percent of students graduating in the class of 2009 from higher-income high schools completed a college degree by 2015, compared to 24 percent of students from low-income schools, Press release. Related story. (November 3)

Diversity Gaps in Computer Science: Exploring the Underrepresentation of Girls, Blacks and Hispanics

Black and Hispanic students are consistently at a disadvantage when it comes to computer science education opportunities. In addition to racial disparities, gender disparities exist as well. Related story. (October 24) 

Equality and Quality in U.S. Education - Systemic Problems, Systemic Solutions
Education Policy Center at American Institutes for Research

Recent passage of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), coupled with recognition of rising inequality in American society, has rekindled debate about how U.S. schools might address long-standing disparities in educational and economic opportunities while improving the educational outcomes for all students. (October 24)

The Radicalized Construction of Exceptionality; Experimental Evidence of Race/Ethnicity Effects on Teachers' Interventions
New York University

Racial bias among educators may play a larger role than previously understood in deciding whether students are referred for special education or gifted programs. Related story. (October 21) 

School Integration in Practice:  Lessons from Nine Districts
The Century Foundation

This study from a think tank focused on inequity, found that 100 school districts and charter schools across the country are currently pursuing socioeconomic diversity plans — a number that has more than doubled since 2007. Related story. (October 19)

Psychological and Biological Responses to Race-based Social Stress as Pathways to Disparities in Educational Outcomes
Northwestern University 

Physiological and psychological responses to race-based stressors may contribute to the persistent achievement gap between white and nonwhite students. Abstract (there is a charge for the full report). Related story. (October 12)

Building Better Narratives in Black Education
Urban League/educationpost/United Negro College Fund

This finds strong support among African-American communities for high, comparable education standards. More than nine in 10 respondents believe college- and career-ready expectations will better prepare their children for success after high school. (September 16) 

Science Achievement Gaps Start Early - in Kindergarten
University of Maryland

Historically not all groups have excelled in science equally. Black and Hispanic individuals as well as women have been less likely to enter or persist in science-related studies or occupations. These gaps have been well-studied at the level of high school and higher education. These gaps, however, actually start much earlier. (September 14)

Divided America: After Recovery, Many Poor Schools Left Behind
Associated Press

Consider Waukegan and Stevenson, two Illinois school districts separated by 20 miles — and an enormous financial gulf.  Stevenson, mostly white, is flush with resources. Meanwhile Waukegan, with its mostly minority student body, is struggling. (September 6)

America After 3 p.m. Special Report: After School in Communities of Concentrated Poverty
Afterschool Alliance

There may be an access gap to after-school programs among low-income families living in areas of concentrated poverty. Executive summary. Related story. (September 1) 

Fault Lines - America's Most Segregating School District Borders

This report explores the most staggering educational fault lines in the country – specifically, the pairs of contiguous districts where the distance between the haves and the have-nots is greater than anywhere else, nationally and within each state. Related story. (August 30) 

Recent Trends in Income, Racial and Ethnic School Readiness Gaps at Kindergarten Level
Stanford University

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. Abstract. Related story. Related story. Related story. (August 29) 

Hidden in Plain Sight - Homeless Students in America's Public Schools
Civic Enterprises and Hart Research Associates

In the 2013-14 school year, there were more than 1.3 million homeless students, a 7 percent increase from the previous year and more than double the number in 2006-07. While that number is troubling, researchers believe it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Related story. (August 26)

The Persistence of Poverty:  Using Longitudinal Data to Understand Gaps in Educational Outcomes
University of Michigan/National Bureau of Economic Research

Educators have long understood poverty influences whether a student succeeds. What they are discovering is persistent poverty has an even greater influence.  Commentary from the author. Related story. (August 15)

Gender Performance Gaps: Quasi-Experimental Evidence on the Role of Gender Differences in Sleep Cycles

Sleep studies suggest that girls go to sleep earlier, are more active in the morning, and cope with sleep deprivation better than boys. This study claims to "provide the first causal evidence on how gender differences in sleep cycles can help explain the gender performance gap." Related story. (August 8)

My Brothers Keeper Initiative Kicks Off in New York With Family Engagement, Teacher Diversity Grants

New York state officials are kicking off an ambitious plan to boost educational outcomes for boys and young men of color with $9 million in grants. (July 20) 

Dividing Lines - Gated School Districts - Second Annual Report on Student Poverty

The way we fund schools in the United States creates incentives for communities to segregate along socioeconomic lines in order to preserve local wealth. In so doing, communities create arbitrary borders that serve to lock students into, or out of, opportunity. Related story. (July 18)

Key Data Highlights on Equity and Opportunity Gaps in Our Nation's Public Schools
U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights

2013-2014 Civil Rights Data Collection measures student access to courses, programs, instructional and other staff, and resources — as well as school climate factors, such as student discipline and bullying and harassment — that impact education equity and opportunity for students. Related story. (June 14)

Black preschool kids get suspended much more frequently than white preschool kids, U.S. survey says
Los Angeles Times

Schools suspend minority students at much higher rates than their peers, starting from the beginning, preschool. Related story. (June 8) 

7 Findings That Illustrate Racial Disparities in Education

Here is a list of seven findings about racial disparities in education that scholars and contributors at the Brookings Institution have highlighted over the past year. Related story:  How to Change White Teachers' Lenses (Slate). (June 7)

Schools and Economic Integration
City Commentary

There’s a growing body of evidence that economic integration—avoiding the separation of rich and poor into distinct neighborhoods—is an important ingredient in promoting widely shared opportunity. (June 1)

Does Gentrification Explain Rising Student Scores in Washington, D.C.?
Urban Institute

Student performance in the nation’s capital has increased so dramatically that it has attracted significant attention and prompted many to ask whether gentrificationrather than an improvement in school quality, is behind the higher scores. This analysis shows that demographic change explains some, but by no means all, of the increase in scores. Related story. (May 27)

Hearts and Minds of Parents in an Uncertain World
Learning Heroes

This report offers insights into the hearts and minds of America’s parents. There are deep areas of concern, including fears surrounding what they feel they cannot control, such as peer pressure, bullying, physical safety, and the Internet/social media. Related story. Related: Readiness Roadmap. (May 24)

African-American Girls in High-Risk Neighborhoods Experience Threats and Objectification
Georgia State University

African-American girls in the fifth, sixth and seventh grades shared their experiences with strained relationships, recurring violence, internalized stereotypes and objectifying sexual activities. Related story. (May 24)

Mind the Gap - 20 Years of Progress and Retrenchment in School Funding and Achievement Gaps
ETS Research Report

Although there has been significant progress in the long term, achievement gaps among the nation's students persist. Many factors have contributed to the disparities in outcomes, and societal changes can explain progress, or lack thereof, over the past few decades. Abstract. Related story. (May 19)

Disentangling the Casual Mechanisms of Bureaucracy: Evidence from Assignment of Students to Gifted Programs
Journal of Public Administration, Research and Theory

Abstract: According to this research, African-American children are three times as likely to be placed in gifted-education programs if they have a black teacher rather than a white teacher.  Related story. (May 10),  

In Wealthier Districts, Students Are Farther Apart
The Atlantic

Some of the wealthiest, most-educated towns in the United States have the biggest academic-achievement gaps between white students and their peers of color. (May 4) 

Achievement Gaps and Racial Segregation:  Research Finds an Insidious Cycle
Education Week/Stanford Education Data Archive/Center for Education Policy Analysis

(Subscription may be required.) Fifteen years of new programs, testing, standards, and accountability have not ended racial achievement gaps in the United States. (May 2)

Indicators of Higher Education Equity in the United States - 2016 Historical Trend Report
Pell Institute

This report examines trends in post-secondary enrollment in the U.S. by family income, race/ethnicity, and family socioeconomic status. Introduction. Related story.  (April 21)

Why Promising Students Fail to Escape Poverty (Coming of Age in the Other America)
City Lab - The Atlantic

Despite the challenge of growing up in tough areas with few resources, thousands of inner city kids manage to excel academically. But even some students who seem to thrive early on run a significant risk of faltering on their quest for greater things. (April 8) 

How Much Can High-Quality Universal Pre-K Reduce Achievement Gaps?
Center for American Progress

A new analysis of reading and math scores in two of the country's highest-performing public preschool programs (Tulsa and Boston) concludes that high-quality preschool could help children of all backgrounds enter kindergarten on an even playing field. Related story. (April 8) 

Latinos and Literacy: Hispanic Students' Progress in Reading
Child Trends Hispanic Institute

Latino students have made impressive academic gains over the past decade, but almost a quarter are still not proficient in reading – and in some states, they're more than three grades behind their peers. Related story. (March 30) 

How Perceptions of Opportunity Vary by Race
The Atlantic

Black and white Americans have dramatically different views on whether all children have equal access to the same opportunities. (March 14) 

Income Inequality, Social Mobility, and the Decision to Drop Out of High School
Brookings Papers on Economic Activity

It is widely documented that places with higher levels of income inequality have lower rates of social mobility. But it is an open question as to whether this reflects a causal relationship. Abstract. Related story. Press release. (March 11)

Science Achievement Gaps Begin Very Early, Persist, and Are Largely Explained by Modifiable Factors
Educational Researcher

Large science achievement gaps at the end of eighth grade between white and racial/ethnic minority children and between children from higher- and lower-income families are rooted in large yet modifiable general knowledge gaps already present by the time children enter kindergarten. Abstract. Press release.  (February 2016)

How Limited Internet Access Can Subtract From Kids' Education
National Public Radio

Can a kid succeed in school with only a mobile device for Internet access at home? Lorena Uribe doesn't have to think about that one: "Absolutely not," she says. (February 2016)

The Punishment Gap:  School Suspension and Racial Disparities in Achievement (Abstract)
Oxford Press

The achievement gap between black students and their peers is well documented, but conclusive explanations of the reasons for the gap are harder to come by. Now this study of more than 15,000 students in Kentucky says that as much as 20 percent of the difference may be due to a single cause: getting suspended from school. Related story. (February 2016)

The Global Skills Gap Widens as U.S. Students Struggle

The UN Global Compact, a group that encourages companies to pursue sustainability across governance, social, and environmental issues, has published a report that ranks the biggest worries of more than 5,500 leaders in business, universities, and civil society groups. Two of the top three were how to close the skills gap and groom people for the “digital labor market.” Report. (February 2016) 

State Test Results are Getting Closer to Student Achievement on NAEP
Achieve and Collaborative for Student Success

In 2015, Achieve released, Proficient vs. Prepared, showing large disparities between most state test results and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). With states taking action to transition to new, more rigorous tests over the past couple of years and also setting new levels of proficiency or cut scores, states deserve a lot of credit for reducing or even eliminating the “honesty gap” that existed. IntroductionRelated story. Related story. Related story. (January 2016)

Discretion and Disproportionality: Explaining the Underrepresentation of High-Achieving Students of Color in Gifted Programs
Vanderbilt University

Black students are far less likely to be placed in gifted programs, even if they have the same test scores as their white peers and especially if their teacher is white, according to a new study by researchers at Vanderbilt University. Related story. (January 2016)

Performance of fourth-grade students in the 2012 NAEP computer-based writing pilot assessment
National Center for Education Statistics

Can elementary-school children show off their best writing on a computer? The research arm of the U.S. Department of Education was curious to learn just that. In 2012 it handed out laptop computers to more than 10,000 fourth-graders and asked them to complete two 30-minute writing assignments. Related story. (January 2016)


Opportunity, Responsibility, and Severity - A Consensus Plan for Reducing Poverty and Restoring the American Dream

As America recovers from the Great Recession, many of our fellow citizens remain mired in poverty. Economic trends, cultural changes, and changes in family and marriage patterns are combining in new ways that make it harder for those born on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder to lift themselves up. Brief introduction. Formal introduction. (December 2015)

Rising Tide:  Do College Grad Rate Gains Benefit All Students?
Education Trust

Graduation rates have been steadily improving at universities for about a decade now. But this report shows that at some public institutions, the gap in graduation rates between minority students and white students is actually growing. Introduction. Related story.  (December 2015)

What Kids Are Reading And the Path to College and Careers
Renaissance Learning

What's the difference between the kids who remain at the bottom of the class and those who surge ahead to the top half?  It could be as little as 4.7 minutes, in the case of reading.  Related story. (November 2015)

Recent Trends in Socioeconomic and Racial School Readiness Gaps at Kindergarten Entry
Stanford Center for Education Policy Analysis (CEPA)

Academic achievement gaps between high- and low-income students born in the 1990s were much larger than among cohorts born two decades earlier. During the same period, racial achievement gaps declined. (November 2015)

Georgia launches apprentice program to tackle stubborn skills gap
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia has launched an apprentice program as a new tactic to combat a persistent problem: Even as the state struggles with a stubborn jobless rate, there’s a growing demand for highly skilled workers that remains unmet. (October 2015) 

Measuring Up - Educational improvement and Opportunity in 50 Cities
Center for Reinventing Public Education

What started out as a technical task—pulling together publicly available data to develop a set of “indicators” city leaders could use to measure school performance and equity—ended up raising serious questions about the health of our urban schools. It also uncovered places where progress in urban education is being made. (October 2015)

Math content in schools adding to achievement gap
Washington Post

The gap in math performance between poor students and their wealthier peers is due in large part to the systemically weaker math content in schools that teach low-income students, according to a new study released Wednesday. (September 2015)

When schools overlook introverts
The Atlantic

As the focus on group work and collaboration increases, classrooms are neglecting the needs of students who work better in quiet settings. (September 2015) 

The Widening Achievement Gap Between the Rich and the Poor
Stanford University

Today, despite some setbacks along the way, racial disparities in education have narrowed significantly. But the question is now, why has progress slowed.  Related story. (September 2015)

Can Universal Screening Increase the Representation of Low Income and Minority Students in Gifted Education?
National Bureau of Economic Research

(This is an abstract.  There is a charge for the complete paper.) Low income and minority students are under-represented in gifted education programs. One explanation for this pattern is that the usual process for identifying gifted students systematically misses many potentially qualified disadvantaged students. Related story. (September 2015)

Bridging Georgia's skills gap:  Retooling Georgia's schools - Atlanta Forward - As businesses increasingly hire skilled labor from elsewhere, state educators look to produce more college- and career-ready graduates
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The gap is wide, and projections show Georgia jobs will require more training. In five years, 60 percent of jobs in the state will require post-secondary education, either a degree or certificate. But only 38 percent of Georgia high school sophomores get that far, according to a recent Atlanta Regional Commission study. (September 2015)

Mapping the Early Attendance Gap
Attendance Works

This report shows how disparities in school attendance rates starting as early as preschool and kindergarten are contributing to achievement gaps and high school dropout rates across the country. Introduction. Executive summaryRelated story. (September 2015)

The Next Chapter: Supporting Literacy Within ESEA
Alliance for Excellent Education

Noting that 60 percent of both fourth and eighth graders currently struggle with reading, this report urges Congress to focus on students’ literacy development from early childhood through grade 12 as it works to rewrite of the ESEA, currently known as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Introduction. Press release. Related story. (August 2015)

Mapping State Proficiency Standards Onto NAEP Scales: Results from 2013 NAEP Reading and Mathematics
National Center for Education Statistics

Under the 2001 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, states developed their own assessments and set their own proficiency standards to measure student achievement. This has resulted in a great deal of variation among the states.  Related story.  Related blog comments. (July 2015)

Goodnight Moon and opportunity: A worrisome gap between rich and poor
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Maureen Downey's 'Get Schooled' blog puts the spotlight on the disparities in the home life of children and what it means in their education. (May 2015)

The Long-Run Effects of Teacher Cheating on Student Outcomes
Georgia State University

Using a panel of individual level data on students and teachers from the Atlanta Public School System, Georgia State researchers investigated the effects of teacher cheating on subsequent student achievement, attendance and student behavior. Related story. (May 2015)

Opinion: Holding poor children accountable for a test score is unfair
Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Maureen Downey's 'Get Schooled' blog

This is a long piece by a scientist on the external factors that undermine student learning. I am increasingly realizing our mantra to poor kids can’t simply be, “Work harder and you will overcome all the obstacles in your path and succeed.” (April 2015)

The Skills Gap in U.S. Manufacturing 2015 and Beyond
Deloitte/Manufacturing Institute

It's not easy for manufacturing to attract the younger, skilled workers that it needs. We need to focus on both the educational pipeline and public perceptions. Related story. (April 2015)

Increasing Education:  What It Will and Will Not Do for Earnings and Earning Inequality
The Hamilton Project

We have empirically simulated what would happen to the distribution of earnings if one out of every ten men aged 25–64 who did not have a bachelor’s degree were to instantly obtain one—a sizeable increase in college attainment. Related story. (April 2015)

Equal Talents, Unequal Opportunities - A Report Card on State Support for Academically Talented Low-Income Students
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

This report says high-achieving students from low-income households can’t rely on resilience alone to see them through. The report finds that high-achieving students lag behind their wealthier peers, creating a potential gap. Related story. (April 2015)

The Achievement Gap In High School Graduation Rates Appears To Be Narrowing
Huffington Post

Even though significantly more white and Asian/Pacific Islander students are graduating from high school than their Hispanic, black and American Indian peers, achievement gaps in this area still appear to be closing. Related article. (March 2015)

The Numbers Add Up To This: Less And Less Opportunity For Poor Kids

In this country, all children are supposed to have a shot at success — a chance to jump "from rags to riches" in one generation. Even if riches remain out of reach, then the belief has been that every hard-working American should be able to go from poverty to the middle class. A study will be released soon turning up evidence that the one-generation leap is getting harder to accomplish in an economy so tied to education, technological know-how and networking. (March 2015)

Are We Closing the School Discipline Gap?
The Civil Rights Project - UCLA

The main body of this report documents gross disparities in the use of out-of-school suspension experienced by students with disabilities and those from historically disadvantaged racial, ethnic, and gender subgroups.  Related story. (February 2015)

Kids Count - Better Way to Measure Poverty
Annie E. Casey Foundation

The federal government's official poverty measure, created in the 1960s, fails to illustrate the effect of programs designed to help families succeed.  This data snapshot highlights the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), which captures the effect of safety-net programs and tax policies on families. Introduction page. (February 2015)

Closing the Achievement Gap - Four States' Efforts
Education Commission of the States

This report highlights the efforts of four states -- Connecticut, Massachusetts, Washington and Wisconsin -- to reduce their achievement gaps through state-level task forces or commissions and other legislative action. (January 2015)

Closing the Expectations Gap

This ninth annual report shows the progress that states have made in advancing college and career readiness while also revealing that much work remains to be done to ensure that all students are academically prepared to succeed in college and careers after high school.  Press release. (January 2015) 

U.S. Education: Still Separate and Unequal
U.S. News and World Report

The U.S. spends significantly more on education than other OECD countries. In 2010, the U.S. spent 39 percent more per full-time student for elementary and secondary education than the average for other countries.  What about the outcomes? (January 2015)

An International Look at the Single-Parent Family
Education Next

When Daniel Patrick Moynihan raised the issue of family structure half a century ago, his concern was the increase in black families headed by women. Since then, the share of children raised in single-parent families in the United States has grown across racial and ethnic groups. Related story. (January 2015)


Leading for Equity: Opportunities for State Education ChiefsAspen Institute/Council of Chief State School Officers