In Sacramento right now, scores of experts and thousands of educators are debating why some groups of students in California do so much better than others, and what can be done about it.
State Superintendent Jack O’Connell told the audience today, as reported by The Associated Press, that the gap isn’t just based on poverty. (That’s probably not a news flash to many of you who have seen year after year of articles on the subject.)
The Oakland school district, for one, has whopping racial disparities in test scores. About 86 percent of white fourth-graders scored proficient or advanced on the STAR tests this spring, but just 33 percent of black fourth-graders did.
That’s a 53 percentage point difference, and it’s even larger between white and Latino students. It doesn’t get any smaller as they get older, either.
The “achievement gap” is discussed so much it has become almost trite. Is it something politicians, educators, students and families honestly believe they can close? If you were invited to speak on one of the Achievement Gap Summit panels, what insights would you give?