Opportunity Gaps: Findings From Initial Analysis of Student Performance in Early Literacy in Massachusetts
This brief provides information about student literacy performance of students with different background characteristics and learning environments. It draws from data collected and analyzed in the report A First Look at Early Literacy Performance in Massachusetts: Results of Initial Analysis Based on State Grantee Literacy Screening Assessments, which provides the first-ever large-scale information about early literacy performance and progress of students in grades K–3 in Massachusetts.
- More historically marginalized students are below benchmark than other students, and they more often stay below benchmark across the school year. These students include economically disadvantaged students, English learner students, students receiving special education services, and Black and Hispanic students.
- These patterns of individual student performance parallel school-level characteristics. Students at schools with the highest mobility rates, lowest attendance rates, highest discipline rates, fewest experienced teachers, lowest teacher retention rates, and highest percentages of historically marginalized student groups were more likely to be below benchmark and to stay there from the beginning to the end of the school year.
- Special attention to how to support schools with many traditionally underserved students may be needed. Reducing disparities in performance is difficult without tackling opportunity gaps that affect some students, like students of color and English learner students.
- It will be critical to identify root causes for disparities in student outcomes, know more about what structural and instructional actions schools are taking to support students, and understand what types of strategies may be particularly effective.
Read more in the full report
- A First Look at Early Literacy Performance in Massachusetts: Results of Initial Analysis Based on State Grantee Literacy Screening Assessments
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