Students narrow achievement gaps

Student achievement has risen since 2002 with black and Latino students improving at a faster pace than whites, according to a study by the Center on Education Policy. The gains — for all students — are strongest in elementary school.

The report focused on “trend lines” – for Latino students in fourth-grade reading, for instance, or for low-income students in high school math – and examined the gaps between lines. The gaps narrowed in 74 percent of all trend lines the researchers examined, most often because the gains made by lower-performing groups outpaced those made by the top-performing group.

Achievement gaps remain large, but they are narrowing, says CEP.

Let’s wallow in some good news!

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  1. Terry Smith says:

    Now seriously – what gap has been narrowed? A numerical gap shown by testing? Any observations of student situations, any conversations about how some part of knowledge has changed, or how a student might be delving into a new area of curiosity? The whole testing thing and with its false nobleness about closing gaps is without real effect on the lives of those who are involved. We know from observation and the research backs it up that learning doesn’t happen because anyone or any group goes into full force tutoring mode – short term nice looking numbers, yes. Real learning, no. Lots of wasted time when real teaching could have been going on.

  2. This is good news. πŸ™‚

  3. Diana Senechal says:

    It is good news–but what is happening to the higher-achieving students? Are they getting the educationn they need, or does most of the attention go to struggling students?

  4. tim-10-ber says:

    In my district this would not be viewed as good news since the high achieving students have been suffering for years due to lack of attention. The scores of the high achieving students have actually fallen…

    When will educators learn you cannot focus solely on the bottom and expect the rest to continue to excel…


  5. Don Bemont says:

    I sincerely hope that it is true that minority students are doing better.

    However, one must always look at achievement numbers with a huge dose of skepticism.

    Were the measures changed? Were the test raters “re-trained”? Was new pressure brought to bear on teachers to teach to the test? Were the best teachers funneled into test preparation (and away from actual education)? Were students likely to score poorly untested, or excepted from the analysis? Was such pressure brought to bear that more people actually cheated? Who scored these tests, and did they have a lot at stake?

    For teachers who are kept very busy actually teaching children all day, it can be stunning just how much time the higher ups have to devise non-educational methods of making the test scores go up.

    The sad thing is that, even when there really is progress, it’s hard to know because there is so much counterfeit progress out there.


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