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Closing the Gap One School at a Time

Abstract

"While overall scores have increased in reading and mathematics, the differences in scores for black and white students in virtually every NAEP subject area and for every age group are greater than they were in the late 1980s. Perhaps even more disturbing, these gaps seem to be getting wider each year. ... Of course, theories abound. Some researchers blame low standards, a lack of resources, and what they consider to be less-skilled teachers in schools that serve large numbers of black students. Others cite a change from the emphasis on basic skill development, which helped to boost scores of the lowest performing students in the 1970s and 1980s, to one on higher order skills, for which students may be less well prepared. Still other researchers insist that, despite controlled study, the effects of racism simply cannot be disentangled from the host of other economic and social factors that affect black students and their success in school."

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