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How Schools, Parents And Organizations Are Trying To Close The Achievement Gap

Third grade students raise their hands in reading comprehension class at Success Academy Harlem  in March 2009
Chris Hondros/Getty Images
Third grade students raise their hands in reading comprehension class at Success Academy Harlem in March 2009

According to the latest Pew Research data, college graduation rates are up for Americans in nearly every racial and ethnic group.

Last year, former President Barack Obama spoke about how crucial this is for the U.S. economy.

“By 2020, two out of three job openings will require some form of higher education,” he said during an event at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, D.C. “Our public schools had been the envy of the world, but the world caught up. And we started getting outpaced when it came to math and science education. And African American and Latino students, in part because of the legacy of discrimination, too often lagged behind our white classmates — something called the achievement gap that, by one estimate, costs us hundreds of billions of dollars a year.”

The so-called achievement gap is pretty big. As of 2016, according to Pew, 55 percent of white 25- to 34-year-olds had attained at least an associate degree. African-American students? 35 percent.

But there is work underway throughout the country to do something about this achievement gap. And it’s happening in the classroom, in the community, and in the home.


Rinaldo Murray, Executive director, College Tribe

Adrian Miller, 6th grader at Center City Charter School in Washington, D.C.

Sean Beach, 8th grader at Friendship Tech Prep Middle School in Washington, D.C.

William Darity, Professor of public policy and director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University

Joseph Neff, Investigative reporter, The News & Observer

Pastor Kirby Jones, Founder and executive director, The Daniel Center for Math and Science

Anya Kamenetz, Education reporter for NPR and author of “The Test: Why Our Schools Are Obsessed with Standardized Testing – But You Don’t Have to Be”

For more, visit http://the1a.org.

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