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Achievement Gap

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NEWS
September 5, 2008 | By MENSAH M. DEAN, deanm@phillynews.com 215-854-5949
With a sense of glee, Cheryl Glaser popped into the muggy classrooms at A.L. FitzPatrick School yesterday morning, radiating sunlight. "Did you tell them the good news?" Principal Glaser repeatedly asked her teachers, catching some off guard. "Guess what school made AYP? Our school did," Glaser would say,proudly volunteering the good news. In each class she asked the children what was the secret to achieving adequate yearly progress - the federal government's measurement under the No Child Left Behind Act for determining which public schools and school districts have reached academic targets.
NEWS
July 1, 2008 | By MENSAH M. DEAN, deanm@phillynews.com 215-854-5949
FOR A SIXTH straight year under state control, Philadelphia School District students posted impressive gains on the state's reading and math exams, city school officials announced yesterday. The gains cut across all racial lines and include students with disabilities, those learning English and those identified as economically disadvantaged. Still, the latest results of the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) revealed the continuation of another pattern - a significant achievement gap that has Asian and white students outperforming their African-American and Hispanic peers.
NEWS
June 17, 2001 | By Dale Mezzacappa INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Between classes, Cedarbrook Middle School in Cheltenham, Montgomery County, is a model of integration. One-third black, nearly two-thirds white, the children blend into a playful stream that surges through the halls and dissolves as abruptly as it appeared at the sound of a bell. Then, Cedarbrook becomes a model of something else entirely. Look in Room 122, where eighth graders are learning about exponents in advanced algebra. Of 23 students, 22 are white and one is Asian.
NEWS
July 17, 2001 | By Chuck Stone
Mark Twain's comment that "everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it" sums up the stubbornly persistent achievement gap between African American and white students in primary and secondary schools, in Philadelphia and around the country. To be sure, there are other achievement gaps - those between Asians and whites, suburban and urban students, low-income and upper-income students, and males and females - but America is fixated on the black-white gap. Asians have higher IQs and score higher on math achievement tests than whites.
NEWS
June 18, 2001 | By Dale Mezzacappa INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
For years in the Cheltenham School District, the existence of a racial achievement gap was assumed by most, and acknowledged by none. In the spring of 2000, however, ignoring it was no longer an option. In a step willingly taken by few suburban districts in the nation, Cheltenham administrators decided to officially face up to the gap. They began by measuring it. The disparities between white and minority students proved to be as wide as they had feared. They next asked one of the knottiest questions in American education: How were their schools perpetuating the gap?
NEWS
July 27, 2010 | STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
Eighteen states, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia have been named finalists in the second round of the federal "Race to the Top" school reform grant competition. Those selected will get a share of $3 billion. Officials provided the Associated Press with a list of the finalists ahead of a speech by Education Secretary Arne Duncan. The competition rewards ambitious reforms aimed at improving struggling schools and closing the achievement gap. Two states, Tennessee and Delaware, were awarded a total of $600 million in the first round.
NEWS
December 28, 2001
Diversity - but not at all costs In reference to the Dec. 21 column by Harold Jackson, "Cherry Hill schools miss the point on diversity," we absolutely agree that all students should celebrate and experience the great diversity of our community. But not at the expense of moving children to attend different schools for the sake of complying with a formula that singles out children and isolates them based on their race or background. In the last several years, Cherry Hill Public Schools has taken new initiatives in closing the achievement gap. Although the threshold question recently asked by the state deals with racial balance according to a child's skin color, we believe that our responsibility is to ensure a preeminent education for all students regardless of race, religion, nationality or gender.
NEWS
December 14, 2003 | By Connie Langland and Alletta Emeno INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
Across the Pennsylvania suburbs, high-achieving and well-funded schools are facing sizeable gaps in achievement between white and minority students. The racial learning divide exists in 84 percent of the 204 suburban schools with minority students, an Inquirer analysis of state math and reading test results shows. This achievement gap, with black and Latino students falling behind white students, persists even in such high-performing districts as Abington, Lower Merion, Downingtown, West Chester, Tredyffrin-Easttown and Wallingford-Swarthmore.
NEWS
January 17, 2013 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Wissahickon school board voted Monday to close an elementary school despite fierce opposition from parents, local officials, a state legislator, and a federal civil rights investigation. By any measure, Mattison Avenue Elementary in Ambler is an outlier. It serves only grades K-3, an antiquated model that complicates the district's operations. Students have to transfer to another elementary school in fourth grade and to middle school in sixth grade. The outdated building serves only 176 students, and has a single room doubling as gym and cafeteria.
NEWS
May 15, 2006 | By Nyeema C. Watson
The national No Child Left Behind law has shed intense light on the achievement gap between black and Hispanic children on one side and white children on the other. Policymakers believe that the root of this problem lies in schools, and that high-stakes testing will dramatically narrow this gap. If a subgroup (and subgroups are minorities and special-education students in your school) does not pass the test, the entire school does not pass. Scores are now known locally and nationally by the school's name.
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NEWS
July 21, 2015
PHILADELPHIA'S future is dependent on the future of its children. Most parents know that. And most parents - rich, poor and middle-class - want a better life for their children. They also know, in their gut, that the path to that better life is an education. There is a vast aspiring class of parents in this city who spend an enormous amount of time and effort seeking a good education for their kids. They join the admissions lottery at charter schools. They sometimes move to be in the catchment area of a good public school.
NEWS
July 15, 2015 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
If Pennsylvania closed gaps in student achievement, the payoff would be enormous, according to a study released Monday. Had the Commonwealth wiped out achievement shortfalls based on race and ethnicity, family economic status, and parental education a decade ago, its gross domestic product would be as much as $44 billion higher and its students would sit near the top of U.S. and world rankings, according to the analysis by the RAND Corp. The study, commissioned by Temple University's Center on Regional Politics, found that each group of Pennsylvania students stands to gain up to $5.1 billion in lifetime income earnings and overall benefit to society if graduation-rate gaps fall away.
NEWS
January 31, 2014 | By Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer
About 300 parents and educators came to Baldwin School on Wednesday evening to hear an unusual education reformer - director M. Night Shyamalan - talk about his ideas for closing America's achievement gap. The Philadelphia-area filmmaker has long had an interest in education and recently wrote a book, I Got Schooled , based on his education foundation's research into ways to help poor inner-city students reach the same educational heights as...
NEWS
February 13, 2013
Guided by Holy Spirit I had the honor of meeting Pope Benedict XVI in 2008, during his U.S. tour, and was very impressed with his eloquent speech and commitment toward uniting the Catholic Church ("The pope resigns," Tuesday). During that visit, we first discussed the possibility of a papal trip to my homeland, Cuba, which he made last March. I had the honor of attending his historic papal Mass at Havana's Revolution Square with a group from our community. The news of his resignation is shocking and sad, but, for those of us who have observed his deteriorating health, we are not surprised.
NEWS
January 17, 2013 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Wissahickon school board voted Monday to close an elementary school despite fierce opposition from parents, local officials, a state legislator, and a federal civil rights investigation. By any measure, Mattison Avenue Elementary in Ambler is an outlier. It serves only grades K-3, an antiquated model that complicates the district's operations. Students have to transfer to another elementary school in fourth grade and to middle school in sixth grade. The outdated building serves only 176 students, and has a single room doubling as gym and cafeteria.
NEWS
October 28, 2012
When Bobby Kennedy ran his star-crossed campaign for president in 1968, he'd close his rallies with a line from George Bernard Shaw: "Some men see things as they are and say, 'Why?' I dream things that never were and say, 'Why not?' " Over the last couple of months, I've been surveying young Philadelphians in search of similar "disruptive" behavior, and am happy to report that the urge to ask "why not," by boldly reimagining old models, is alive and well in our town, though it has yet to be fully embraced by the tired practitioners of the way things have always been.
NEWS
July 7, 2012 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a signal of its growing reach into the city's education sector, the William Penn Foundation will give $15 million to fund innovations in Philadelphia public, private, and charter schools over the next three years. William Penn has pledged the money to the Philadelphia School Partnership, which will award grants to some schools this month, with other awards coming before the end of the year. It's a major step forward in the newer nonprofit's goal of raising $100 million in five years to speed up the pace of educational change.
NEWS
July 6, 2012 | By Kristen A. Graham, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In a signal of its growing reach into the city's education sector, the William Penn Foundation will give $15 million to fund innovations in Philadelphia public, private, and charter schools over the next three years. William Penn has pledged the money to the Philadelphia School Partnership, which will award grants to some schools this month, with other awards coming before the end of the year. It's a major step forward in the newer nonprofit's goal of raising $100 million in five years to speed up the pace of educational change.
NEWS
May 3, 2012 | By Rita Giordano, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Woodbury Junior-Senior High School has been named the recipient of a national award for improving its academic environment and helping students achieve equitable access to higher education, The school was one of three high schools to win Gaston Caperton Inspiration Awards, which carry $25,000 prizes, the College Board announced Tuesday. The other winners were Fort Lauderdale High School in Florida and Johnny G. Economedes High School in Edinburg, Texas. Six schools were awarded honorable mentions worth $1,000 each.
NEWS
February 2, 2012 | By Rita Giordano and John Tierno, Inquirer Staff Writers
Two-thirds of South Jersey's public high schools maintained or improved their performance on the state's most recent standardized math exam and nearly 71 percent did so on the language-arts test, according to data released Wednesday by the New Jersey Department of Education. Statewide, the passage rates on the High School Proficiency Assessments showed progress in narrowing the achievement gaps between economically disadvantaged students and their nondisadvantaged counterparts, and between white and Asian students and their black and Hispanic fellow pupils.
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