Closing the Achievement Gap: A Special Issue of the Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk

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Samuel C. Stringfield
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Incorporated, 2004 - Education - 134 pages
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Closing the Achievement Gap is made up of six articles. The first paper examines Cleveland's restructuring initiative in light of two theories on early adolescent development: person-in-environment theory and the focal theory of change. This is followed by a study that illustrates the difference in academic performance between low-income children and their peers, minority children and their classmates, and those schools that serve a majority of children from low-income families and those that serve a more advantaged population. The third article summarizes key findings of a study that examined the reform efforts of three large urban school districts and a portion of a fourth that had been successful in improving student achievement and reducing racial achievement gaps. It also discusses the implications for research and technical assistance. Next, survey data on 15,800 high school students from three urban school districts is used to investigate the impact of school-level support for higher educational attainment and school racial composition on students' actual educational aspirations. The final article explores whether reading books during summer vacation improves fall reading proficiency and whether access to books increases the volume of summer reading.

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