Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Examining the achievement gap between white and black students in Alabama | AL com

Examining the achievement gap between white and black students in Alabama | AL.com:

Examining the achievement gap between white and black students in Alabama 



This is the first of several stories digging into one of the most challenging issues facing Alabama public schools---the racial achievement gap. Throughout the series, Tackling the Gap, we'll take a deep dive into the data and talk with teachers and experts to explore how Alabama schools can improve their efforts to help all students reach their academic potential.   
While test scores in Alabama schools generally mirror poverty levels, poverty is only one factor, research has shown. 
The Alabama state department of education's chief academic officer Dr. Barbara Cooper is charged with improving achievement for the 730,000 students in Alabama's public schools. 


"Even in places where students are affluent, there is still a black-white achievement gap," she said. "So poverty is not the answer there.
"These students are still performing significantly below [their white peers], and their parents are making six figures."
Even though black students in affluent areas perform better than black students in impoverished areas, there is still a gap, Cooper said.
The achievement gap, as we refer to it here, is the difference in proficiency levels of black students and white students. Statewide, that gap is large, between 20 and 30 percentage points in any given subject area.
Alabama teachers tackle the achievement gap
When we set out to cover the story of Alabama's persistent achievement gap between black and white students, we knew we couldn't do it without teachers. So we put out a call for people willing to dive deep in frank conversation, and more than 200 educators responded.


Why does that matter?
When we set out to cover the story of Alabama's persistent achievement gap, we knew we couldn't do it without teachers. So we put out a call for people willing to dive deep in frank conversation, and more than 200 educators responded.
About 60 of those teachers, from all over the state, participated over the last two months in a closed discussion on Facebook. Why does the gap matter? Here's some of what they said:
The achievement gap matters because students won't be in school forever. Some students aren't being exposed to things as it is by parents/guardians and some parents and teachers are doing Examining the achievement gap between white and black students in Alabama | AL.com:

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