Persistent achievement gap vexes education reformers: Six takeaways

No education issue has received more attention in recent years – but with less apparent progress – than the achievement gaps for minority and low-income students. The Center on Education Policy released a study Tuesday that looks at trends in all 50 states. Read our list of a few of the study’s major findings.

Latinos are a bright spot

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    A teacher at Grace Christian Elementary School in Hattiesburg, Miss., talks with Jennifer Garcia (c.) and Esmeralda Gonzaga.
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If there’s one bright spot in the report, it’s that Latino students are doing better. Latino/white gaps tend to be the ones narrowing the fastest, even though large gaps (ranging from 5 to 38 percentage points) persist in most states.

In eighth grade, every state in the country managed to narrow the gap, says Mr. Jennings. “That’s hopeful, since Latinos are growing very fast as a segment of the population,” he says.

Even there, though, the news isn’t all good. In about one-third of the cases the report examined at the fourth-grade level, the mean score gap actually widened – mostly because white students improved their scores at a faster rate than Latino students.

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