Reforms That Could Help Narrow the Achievement Gap
Without complementary investments in early childhood education, health care, housing, after-school and summer programs, and other social and economic supports, the academic achievement gap between lower- and middle-class children will never be closed.
In this Policy Perspectives paper, Richard Rothstein, Research Associate of the Economic Policy Institute, outlines a series of reforms, in addition to school improvement, that could help narrow the achievement gap. As Rothstein writes:
“If as a society we choose to preserve big social class differences, we must necessarily also accept substantial gaps between the achievement of lower-class and middle-class children. Closing those gaps requires not only better schools, although those are certainly needed, but also reform in the social and economic institutions that prepare children to learn in different ways. It will not be cheap.”
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