Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Telling Scores Achievement Gaps in City Schools Are Dispiriting

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Telling Scores Achievement Gaps in City Schools Are Dispiriting

Article excerpt

Racial and ethnic gaps in student achievement have persisted over many years in American public schools. That does not mean we should consider them to be unavoidable.

Last week, the Pittsburgh Board of Public Education released a report on the results of assessment tests that students took in the spring. Board President Regina Holley was right to state that the achievement gaps between white and black students shown in the report are "unacceptable."

The results for fifth-grade students in English language arts and reading stand out. Thirty percent of black students scored at a proficient or advanced level in that subject, while 64 percent of white students scored at those levels. Students are placed in one of four categories based on their scores: below basic, basic, proficient or advanced.

Similarly, the scores for third-graders in reading and language arts show a 27 percent gap between white and black students in the proficient and advanced levels. …

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