ERIC Number: ED485185
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Sep
Closing the Gap: High Achievement for Students of Color. AERA Research Points, Volume 2, Issue 3, Fall 2004
Gordon, Edmund W.
American Educational Research Association
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation decision. Yet despite half a century of efforts to improve educational opportunities for African American students and other minorities, a large achievement gap persists. By 12th grade, the average African American and Hispanic student can only do math and read as well as a white eighth grader. In addition, high school completion rates remain markedly lower for students of color. Substantial research has tried to explain the test score gap. We know that it begins early; for example, there is a significant gap in vocabulary knowledge even as children enter school. This confirms earlier findings that family and community differences have a significant impact on student achievement. While the overall numbers can be daunting, there is evidence that the achievement gap can be reduced. One recent study based on national data found that between fourth and eighth grade, African American and Hispanic children's gains in reading exceeded those of white children. What can schools do? Although we do not have carefully controlled studies, a number of programs that have been sufficiently documented suggest successful practices.
Descriptors: Graduation, High Achievement, Minority Group Children, Academic Achievement, High Risk Students, Elementary Secondary Education, Racial Differences, Educational Environment
American Educational Research Association, 1230 17th Street, NW Washington, DC 20036. Tel :202-223-9485; Fax: 202-775-1824; Web site: www.aera.net.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC.