Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

New North Carolina Consortium to Try to Close Racial Achievement Gap

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

New North Carolina Consortium to Try to Close Racial Achievement Gap

Article excerpt

DURHAM, N.C. -- A dozen North Carolina colleges and universities have formed a consortium that will develop outreach programs to help public schools close the achievement gap between Black and White public school students.

State tests during the 1998-99 school year found just 49 percent of Black students scoring at or above grade level in reading and math tests, far short of the 79 percent passing rate for White students.

"We are 30 years into this process that we call integration," state schools Superintendent Mike Ward said earlier this month at a gathering at N.C. Central University. "It's simply wrong that gaps in performance and economic opportunity are still so stark."

The consortium led by NCCU plans to hold a retreat at the end of January to identify the best ideas for closing the gap statewide. Consortium members will seek local, state, federal and private funding.

The institutions will use about $100,000 in seed money from the state Department of Public Instruction to launch programs aimed at Black students. …

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