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Parsing the Achievement Gap: Baselines for Tracking Progress

Abstract

"This publication is about conditions that help create and perpetuate achievement gaps. It is about the many antecedents of differences in school achievement and college-going rates. The effort begins with identifying school and home conditions that the research community, to a reasonable extent, agrees are closely associated with school achievement. ... Achievement differences in school among subgroups of the population have deep roots. They arrive early and stay late--beginning before the cradle and continuing through to graduation, if that happy outcome is obtained. This is a search for the roots--those aspects of the life and school experience found to be correlated with school achievement. It is important to bear in mind, however, that this report is not about specific school interventions or programs to improve instruction, or evaluations of their effectiveness. ... This information should be useful in helping to unravel the threads in the fabric of different subgroup educational outcomes. A larger purpose is to encourage a periodic assessment of progress in closing the gaps, which is critical to achieving equality."

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