Intended to mark the starting line in what U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has called the “race to the top,” the first report notes, for instance, that only one state—Louisiana—has significantly narrowed black-white achievement gaps in both 4th grade reading and 8th grade mathematics. High-need districts in Pennsylvania get more than $1,000 a year less per pupil than do the state’s better-off districts. And, in Colorado, Latino students represent 20 percent of the state’s 11th- and 12th-grade students, but 7 percent of the students taking Advanced Placement exams in key subjects.
“The federal dollars are not a license to do business as usual,” said Kati Haycock, the president of the trust, a Washington-based advocacy group. “They come with a demand for change.”
A version of this article appeared in the April 08, 2009 edition of Education Week