Achievement Gap Series: Part I…the Missouri picture

William Woods EDU

Data on achievement gaps of many kinds continue to pile up for educators to consider. In the next several posts, we will look at the achievement gap issue from a variety of perspectives.

A report from the Missouri K-16 Coalition confirms that both nationally and within Missouri, geographical location, socioeconomic status, and race are correlated with differences in educational opportunities and student achievement.

Achievement gaps in Missouri are most prevalent among schools with large concentrations of poor and minority students. Missouri’s urban schools are particularly challenged since they have high proportions of low-income and minority students. A systematic analysis of several indicators reveals significant achievement gaps in student performance for selected schools, suggesting that Missouri’s educational system has failed large numbers of its citizens. These achievement gaps include:

  • lower performance on Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) tests at all grade levels and in all subject areas;
  • lower rates of college admissions test-taking;
  • lower scores on the ACT;
  • less preparation for collegiate-level work;
  • lower high school graduation rates;
  • lower college attendance rates; and
  • a greater need for remediation in college.

In our next post on achievement gaps, we will review the 2014 Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education winners, each dedicated to closing an achievement gap and offering solutions that can be replicated anywhere in the world.

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