ERIC Number: EJ888166
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Gaining on the Gap
Smith, Robert G.
School Administrator, v67 n6 p21-24 Jun 2010
About three-quarters of the 2009 graduates of the highly diverse Arlington, Virginia, Public Schools completed one or more Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses during their high school careers. That figure serves as one indicator of a decade-long initiative to eliminate achievement gaps while raising achievement for all students. More than 20,000 students attend this inner-ring, suburban school district outside Washington, D.C., where no race/ethnicity holds majority status. About a third of the students receive free or reduced price meals; 42 percent speak a first language other than English. Families represent 128 different nations of origin and 95 different first languages. In this article, the author describes how his district narrowed the achievement gaps in such a diverse community by creating conditions in the organization that would propel solutions and help ensure access to and success in rigorous high school classes for all students. The author believes that combining the right organizational conditions with high expectations and support for participating students and their parents, teaching for meaning, and enabling access to rigorous course work will ensure that achievement gaps disappear as all student achievement grows.
Descriptors: Advanced Placement, Academic Achievement, Organizational Change, Organizational Climate, Achievement Gap, Student Diversity, Cultural Pluralism, Access to Education, Partnerships in Education, Effective Schools Research, Expectation, Change Strategies
American Association of School Administrators. 801 North Quincy Street Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22203-1730. Tel: 703-528-0700; Fax: 703-841-1543; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.aasa.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia