Opportunity/Achievement Gap

Read about academic performance differences due to factors affecting students’ options like poverty, racism, and uneven opportunities
A young Black woman's image dissolves in the smoke.
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Equity & Diversity Opinion 'Brown v. Board of Education' at 70: A Dream Dissolved
This anniversary should remind us that progress is not inevitable. We stand now at a critical juncture.
R. L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy, May 15, 2024
4 min read
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Glitch stylized photo of a white woman with a hood over her head.
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Student Achievement What the Research Says Next NAEP to Take Deeper Look at Poverty's Connection to Students' Achievement
Researchers say the new measure could yield a more accurate reading of how family income affects students' test scores.
Sarah D. Sparks, February 26, 2024
5 min read
Tight crop of junior-high students' desks during a math class at school with paperwork showing math problems.
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Mathematics Math Tracking Starts as Early as Elementary School, a New Study Finds
Most principals also report that not all students have the opportunity to take Algebra I, new data show.
Sarah Schwartz, February 7, 2024
6 min read
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Student Achievement Q&A Learning Recovery Efforts Worked. New Data Show Why States Must Not Let Up
Student learning recovered in record numbers, but improvements were uneven—and exacerbated some longstanding academic gaps.
Olina Banerji, February 2, 2024
8 min read
Illustration of people climbing stacks of books. There are 3 stacks of books at different heights with people helping people climb up.
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Student Achievement To Settle a Lawsuit, California Will Shift $2 Billion to Students Hurt by Pandemic Shutdowns
The settlement in the class-action lawsuit presses districts to provide evidence-based support to help students get back on track.
Sarah D. Sparks, February 1, 2024
7 min read
Teenage student taking notes during class
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Mathematics What the Research Says How Schools Can Diversify Math Course-Taking
Low-income students and students of color take fewer advanced-math courses—or start taking them later—than their white peers.
Sarah D. Sparks, December 7, 2023
4 min read
In this Aug. 13, 2014, file photo, a student prepares to leave the Enterprise Attendance Center school southeast of Brookhaven Miss. The federal government has decided to delay changing the way it determines funding for rural education after a bipartisan group of lawmakers said the move would hurt hundreds of schools.
A student prepares to leave the Enterprise Attendance Center school southeast of Brookhaven, Miss., on Aug. 13, 2014.
Rogelio V. Solis/AP
School & District Management The State of Rural Schools, in Charts: Funding, Graduation Rates, Performance, and More
Rural schools receive less funding on average from states, but they still deal with the mental health and academic crises facing all schools.
Libby Stanford, November 20, 2023
5 min read
Students head to the cafeteria for lunch at Sandy Valley School in Sandy Valley, Nev., on March 30, 2022. The school is one of only a handful in the mostly urban Clark County School District to meet just four days a week.
Students head to the cafeteria for lunch at Sandy Valley School in Sandy Valley, Nev., on March 30, 2022.
Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP
School & District Management Report Outlines the Distinct Challenges Facing Rural Schools
They enroll more students than the 100 largest districts combined, but rural schools have higher operating costs and lower teacher pay.
Libby Stanford, November 16, 2023
6 min read
Tanya Holyfield, a second grade teacher with Manchester Academic Charter School, teaches remote students from her classroom on March 4, 2021, in Pittsburgh.
Tanya Holyfield, a 2nd grade teacher at Manchester Academic Charter School, teaches remote students from her classroom on March 4, 2021, in Pittsburgh. New federal data from the 2020-21 school year show that longstanding inequities among groups of students did not change much even in a year when many students spent all or part of the year in remote and hybrid learning.
Andrew Rus/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP
Equity & Diversity What the Research Says New National Data Show Depth of Disparities in a Chaotic Year of Schooling
The first federal civil rights data released since the pandemic show that inequities persisted even when school buildings shut down.
Eesha Pendharkar & Sarah D. Sparks, November 15, 2023
10 min read
Photograph of diverse group of primary school students using laptops in a bright classroom.
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Curriculum Computer Science Courses Are on the Rise—But Girls Are Still Half as Likely to Take It
Schools expanded the availability of foundational computer science classes, but stubborn gaps in access to those courses persist.
Alyson Klein, November 1, 2023
4 min read
Photo of calculus equations.
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Mathematics Why Calculus Remains a Math Flash Point
Debates center on whether all kids should take it or just those who want to major in STEM—and its odd place in college admissions.
Sarah Schwartz, October 30, 2023
4 min read
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Ed-Tech Policy Opinion Stop Blaming Ed Tech for Our Current Education Inequality
Technology didn't create student disengagement nor is it responsible for lengthy school closures, writes an industry leader.
Sari Factor, October 19, 2023
4 min read