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In New York City, where students gain admission to some specialized high schools by achieving a high score on a single high-stakes test of their skills in math and English, only a small number of black students were offered spots in the most selective schools this year, Eliza Shapiro reports.

Politicians in New York City and New York state are fighting over proposed changes to the admissions policies for the schools.

How have other school districts handled the issue of low numbers of students from minority groups gaining admission to selective schools?

In “A Stubborn Excellence Gap,” Hilde Kahn describes decades of efforts to increase diversity at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, or TJ, a selective magnet school in Northern Virginia that was designed to provide an elite, high-tech education for academically gifted students

Efforts to make TJ’s admissions more inclusive have included: setting quotas by race, by income, and by feeder middle school; de-emphasizing the entrance exam; screening students for passion rather than achievement; offering enrichment programs to talented students from underrepresented backgrounds beginning in the early grades; hiring an outreach officer; and increasing access to advanced courses in middle school. Some of these efforts produced some gains in the number of minority students admitted to the school but most accomplished nothing.

The author concludes

Before giving up on the potential of all capable students to succeed, we need to recognize that even the best public school systems—with the full weight of their political and economic resources aimed at eliminating disparities—cannot by themselves make up the difference between what some parents provide for their children and what others do not. Because all bright students have the potential to excel, we must find ways to provide the students of underrepresented groups access to the same preparation that the parents of admitted students provide for their children, and, along with it, a community of learners that encourages and supports their efforts.

For background on highly selective public schools in different states, please see “Exam Schools from the Inside.”

— Education Next

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An ambitious, important new piece of analysis by scholars Eric Hanushek (an economist) and Paul Peterson (a political scientist), plus Laura Talpey and Ludger Woessmann, concludes that “gaps in achievement between the haves and have-nots are mostly unchanged over the past half century” and that “steady gains in student achievement at the eighth grade level have not translated into gains at the end of high school.”

In other words, young Americans across the socioeconomic spectrum have made some progress over the past half-century in academic achievement, but that rising tide (a) hasn’t narrowed key gaps among them and (b) hasn’t lifted the high school boats. By and large, this starts from the glum but largely unchallenged conclusion of the 1966 Coleman Report that differences in family circumstance explain more of the differences in educational outcomes than do differences in school resources. While the analysts call into question much-publicized recent work by Stanford’s Sean Reardon suggesting that the income-achievement gap has recently widened, their bottom-line finding—that gaps related to family background remain as wide as ever—underscores today’s widespread concerns about America’s upward-mobility challenges.

It’s a heroic body of analysis, drawing on both NAEP and PISA data covering several subjects and multiple administrations. It will, inevitably, be challenged on methodological grounds—I’ve got a couple of worries on that front myself—but for now let’s assume that their findings are robust and their conclusions valid.

Some really tough questions then follow. How much does gap-closing matter versus tide-rising? Why has the tide stopped rising at the high school door? And—of course—what, if anything, is to be done, besides more of what we’ve been doing, at least since we began to get serious about mediocrity and gaps (and poverty/family/achievement linkages) back in the 1960s?

On that last question, Hanushek and Peterson wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Monday that declared the “war on poverty” essentially a waste of money—hundreds of billions of federal dollars, by their estimate—when it comes to boosting the educational performance of poor kids closer to that of rich kids. In their longer piece, they offer a number of provocative speculations as to why so little has been accomplished and what bears more effort going forward. Perhaps the most promising suggestion, which also aligns with other recent work by Hanushek, involves getting abler teachers into classrooms full of poor kids.

High schools have proven a terribly hard nut to crack, and for many reasons. I’m bullish about the potential that dwells in the kind of comprehensive overhaul recently recommended by Maryland’s Kirwan Commission and by Marc Tucker, who advised the Commission, but it’s a very heavy lift, considering the push to get everyone through to a diploma (however meaningless) and thence into college (however fruitless). I’ve yet to see any state really seize hold of this strategy—perhaps Maryland will—and then stick with it through the flak that’s sure to follow. When and if one does, we’ll also need to watch whether the philosophical and structural changes that follow also incorporate elements—curriculum, pedagogy, standards, accountability, etc.—that truly boost academic achievement.

The reason gap-closing matters is because social mobility matters, particularly in a society that prizes itself on being a land of opportunity, a place where the “American dream” is real and Horatio Alger was more than a writer of fiction. We mustn’t give up on it. But raising all boats matters, too. It makes the country more competitive. It readies more young people to support themselves and their families, and to participate more effectively in their communities.

Our politics of late has perhaps led Americans—certainly the policy and academic types—to focus overmuch on issues of fairness at the expense of universal strategies by which everyone does at least a little better. We’re riveted by the weird, enviable, but contemptible world of the “top 1 percent” (check out the recent flap about admission toelite colleges) and by the plight of the “bottom quarter,” as well every sort of gap that can be linked to race, gender, and other differences. We don’t think hard enough or often enough about what has contributed to everybody learning more today than they did fifty years ago, at least through middle school, or to what (other than global warming!) might keep the boats rising tomorrow.

Yes, we should rethink the premises of the “war on poverty,” at least with respect to education. Yes, we should do what we can to narrow other gaps. But higher standards, better teachers, more individualization, sophisticated technology, solid curricula, more quality school options—things like that are good for everybody. I suspect the surest gap-closing strategy is to make sure that poor kids get them, too.

Chester E. Finn, Jr., is a Distinguished Senior Fellow and President Emeritus at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. He is also a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution.

This post originally appeared in Flypaper.

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In the Wall Street Journal, Jay P. Greene and Frederick Hess write that

The K-12 education-reform movement was once led primarily by conservatives and libertarians with centrist Democrats as junior partners. But over the past decade, education reform has taken a hard left turn. Republicans are now almost entirely invisible within the ranks of its activists.

They continue

This progressive capture of education reform—like the capture of much of the media and academia—will undermine the quality and effectiveness of the movement’s work.

Greene and Hess argue that

Political homogeneity helps explain many of the setbacks the reform movement has suffered in recent years, including the collapse of Common Core, the abandonment of new teacher evaluation methods, and a national stall in the expansion of charter schools. It is losing its ability to forge new coalitions and find new converts. Those who care about the effectiveness of K-12 education should think about ways to inject some red—or at least purple—into a movement that has become monochromatically blue.

The Wall Street Journal article is based on a longer piece, “Education Reform’s Deep Blue Hue,” published by Education Next.

— Education Next

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On March 26, 2019 at 4 pm, Fordham and Hoover will host two speakers on schools, patriotism, and illiberalism.

William Damon, director of the Stanford Center on Adolescence, will argue that schools must foster in their students a sense of purpose and a positive attachment to their society.

Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, will argue that good education means knowledge-seeking via open intellectual debate that challenges one’s  most fundamental beliefs and values.

More information is available on the event page, where you can also register to attend or to watch the live webcast.

— Education Next

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The conventional wisdom is that, as income inequality has grown in the United States, inequality in education has increased as well.

A new study finds that gaps in student achievement along lines of socioeconomic status have not grown over the past half-century. But neither have they narrowed; rather, they’ve been strikingly persistent.

One of the authors of the new study, Paul E. Peterson, talks with Marty West about the achievement gap’s persistence.

The study is “The Achievement Gap Fails to Close,” co-written by Peterson, Eric Hanushek, Laura M. Talpey and Ludger Woessmann, now available at Education Next.

The EdNext Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Soundcloud, Stitcher and here every Wednesday.

– Education Next

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An op-ed in the Wall Street Journal looks at the impact of billions of dollars spent to try to narrow the gap in academic achievement between those born into families with the highest and lowest levels of education and household resources.

As Eric A. Hanushek and Paul E. Peterson write,

The gaps have not narrowed over the past 50 years, despite all the money spent on that objective. In 1971, shortly after the launch of the War on Poverty, 14-year-olds in the bottom decile trailed those in the top decile by three to four years worth of school. For those who were born in 2001 and turned 14 in 2015, the gap was still three to four years. Similarly, the 75-25 gap has remained wide—between 2½ and three years.

The op-ed is based on a longer article, “The Achievement Gap Fails to Close,” co-written bu Hanushek, Peterson, Laura M. Talpey and Ludger Woessmann, which is available now at Education Next.

— Education Next

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It’s not easy to surprise demographers, given the long timelines with which they work. But back in 2007, when the number of babies born in the United States hit the all-time high of 4.32 million, topping even the baby boom peak, few could foresee the baby bust that was about to come.

But come it did. By 2010, the number of children born in the U.S. that year had declined by 7.3 percent to 4.0 million. Perhaps that was understandable, given the shock of the Great Recession. (Birthrates declined during the Great Depression, too.) But another surprise followed: the birth rate continued to fall, even amid a historically long economic recovery, and even though the huge cohort of millennial women was reaching prime childbearing age. A decade after the peak, and seven years after the recovery began, the downward trend continues. The 3.85 million babies born in 2017 represent a 10.7 percent decline from the 2007 high.

As alarming as these raw data are, what concerns demographers even more is the downturn in the “total fertility rate,” which estimates the number of children the typical woman is likely to have over the course of her lifetime. From 2007 to 2017, that rate fell from 2.12 to 1.76—an astounding 17 percent decline. Anything under 2.1 means we’ve fallen below the replacement rate, indicating that, without immigration, population shrinkage will follow. And immigration rates are down somewhat, too.

All of this was so unexpected that official projections from the National Center for Education Statistics still predict a rise in enrollment in coming decades—an outcome that is virtually mathematically impossible. In fact, on average, student enrollment is falling, and fast. Using data from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, the Hechinger Institute’s Jill Barshay predicts an 8.5 percent decline in the number of students in U.S. schools in coming decades, with drops already apparent in the early elementary grades.

If anything, Barshay is likely understating the magnitude of the decline. How low can the birthrate go? And what might this mean for public education and reform in the United States? Is this a crisis, an opportunity, or both?

Nobody knows for sure why the birthrate is slowing, though some explanations have more supporting evidence than others. Economist Lyman Stone, who has been raising the red flag about fertility rates for years, argues that it is mostly driven by delays in marriage. “Controlling for marital status, fertility in the United States has been roughly stable for the past decade and a half,” he writes. “Most changes in marital status, in turn, can be attributed to the increasing delay in young people getting married.” And that, in turn, may be attributable to a variety of economic barriers, from increased student-loan debt to rising housing costs to more expensive childcare. Fixing any of that is difficult, even in times of plenty. When the next recession hits, Lyman predicts, all this will only get worse.

The implications for society writ large are clear and mostly dire. Here’s how Jonathan Last, author of What to Expect When No One’s Expecting, put it in a Wall Street Journal op-ed:

Low-fertility societies don’t innovate because their incentives for consumption tilt overwhelmingly toward health care. They don’t invest aggressively because, with the average age skewing higher, capital shifts to preserving and extending life and then begins drawing down. They cannot sustain social-security programs because they don’t have enough workers to pay for the retirees. They cannot project power because they lack the money to pay for defense and the military-age manpower to serve in their armed forces.

If he’s right, all of this will put new pressures on our education system. Schools in most states have already entered a “new normal” of slow growth in revenue, sparked by the Great Recession but persisting to this day. As “investments” in the future become even harder to support politically, the fiscal picture may grow worse. Then there’s our own version of the retiree problem: our teacher pension and retiree health-care economics depend on revenues from newly minted educators to stay solvent. We’re already seeing significant stresses on that strategy. What will happen when the demand for new teachers plummets? And no superintendent enjoys shuttering schools because of declining enrollment; such closures can leave communities angry and desolate.

One might also expect all of this to make the politics of education reform significantly tougher. It’s always been easier to advocate for charter schools and other forms of parental choice in areas that are growing rapidly; new choice options can serve as a release valve for districts struggling to keep up with an influx of additional kids. Fighting for choice in the midst of declining enrollment, on the other hand, is more akin to a street fight. Ask charter advocates in places like Detroit and Cleveland, for example, where even high-quality charter schools go wanting for enough students. Or in Denver, where the charter politics shifted dramatically when the city’s enrollment trends went from positive to negative.

But perhaps this sky-is-falling attitude is incorrect, or at least incomplete. Perhaps there are a few silver linings.

For one, fewer students could mean needing fewer teachers, giving districts a chance to be more selective in those they hire. Reform efforts over the past decade have paved the way: during the Michael Bloomberg-Joel Klein era in New York City, for example, the district reformed the tenure process and turned a rubber stamp into a serious effort to determine whether a junior teacher had demonstrated her effectiveness in the classroom. Districts nationwide could embrace a similar approach, especially if they are freed from the ongoing challenge of just finding enough bodies to fill classrooms.

Second, districts faced with school closures could also make smarter choices about which schools get to stay open. Rather than just shutter schools in the oldest buildings, they could mothball the lowest-performing programs, or the most segregated ones, or both.

They might also be able to afford to spend more money per pupil, since there will be fewer pupils overall. A skeptical reader might assume states and districts would immediately look to cut back on school spending as student enrollment declines. But consider Figure 1, which shows the relationship between enrollment trends and per-pupil spending by state from 2000 to 2015.

For the most part, states with declining enrollment boosted their spending per child more than states with enrollment growth. (There are interesting outliers, like Michigan, where economic implosions made this much more difficult to do.) With a declining student population, states can increase funding per pupil without ballooning the total education budget. That might prove politically salable, even in the face of competition from retiree spending.

While demography may be destiny, no outcome is inevitable. By choosing wisely, policymakers and education leaders can keep the baby bust from wreaking havoc on our schools. Our future is in their hands.

Mike Petrilli is president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, and executive editor of Education Next.

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I found a lot of things peculiar about the reactions to last week’s nauseating pay-for-admissions scandal, but I suspect readers have already tired of the subject (if you’re curious about my take, you can find it here or here). But the one thing I do want to touch upon today is the weird way that evidence of corrupt college coaches, sleazoid middlemen, and asleep-at-the-switch admissions offices fueled broadsides fulminating generally at scholastic sports—as if millions of high school athletes and thousands of coaches are implicated by the malfeasance of coaches and staff busy raking in bribes at elite colleges.

This all felt remarkably familiar. High school sports, for reasons that utterly escape me, have become a frequent target. As Amy Cummings and I put it in a column at National Review last month:

School sports have served as a convenient punching bag for advocates and academics who tend to regard athletics as a cultural backwater. Amanda Ripley, a senior fellow at the “social change” organization founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, has made “The Case against High-School Sports” in The Atlantic, blaming sports for mediocre U.S. performance on international tests. And Brookings Institution education scholar Mike Hansen has lamented that sports are “distracting us from our schools’ main goals.”

Meanwhile, for more than a few progressives, sports seemingly represent toxic masculinity, problematic notions of competition, and gender segregation.

Amidst such critiques, the manifold benefits of school sports can easily get lost. Especially strange is the short shrift given to the role that athletics can play when it comes to supporting academic success and forging character. That presumably has something to do with why the National Federation of State High School Associations reports that more than half of high schoolers participated in school sports in 2015, up from 40 percent in 1980.

If you’re used to negative portrayals of school sports, you may be wondering about this casual assertion of manifold benefits. “Do you have any evidence for this claim?” some may ask. Well, a quick perusal of some of the most widely cited studies on high school sports tells a pretty compelling story.

As Cummings and I wrote:

Despite assertions that sports distract from academics, there’s evidence that they can just as readily complement the scholastic mission of schools. A widely cited 2003 study by Oxford University’s Herbert Marsh and the University of Sydney’s Sabina Kleitman in the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology reported, using nationally representative longitudinal data, that participating in high-school sports had a positive effect on academics in high school and college. Students who played high-school sports got better grades, selected more challenging courses, had higher educational and occupational aspirations, were more likely to enroll in college, and had higher levels of educational attainment. What’s more, these results held up across socioeconomic status, gender, race, and ability.

A decade ago, in the Economics of Education Review, Mathematica’s Stephen Lipscomb used a fixed-effects strategy to test whether participating in high-school sports affected academic performance. He found that sports participation associated with a 2 percent increase in math and science test scores and a 5 percent increase in bachelor’s-degree attainment expectations. Other scholarship has reported that participating in high-school sports significantly reduces a student’s likelihood of dropping out of high school and, for young women, that it is associated with higher odds of college completion.

The point is not to make outrageous claims on behalf of school sports. These studies all have methodological limitations, researchers have devoted less energy to examining sports than one would think, and we should not treat the results as gospel. Meanwhile, some benefits are due to self-selection, poorly run programs can breed destructive behavior, and there are times and places when sports can clash with a school’s academic mission. None of these cautions, however, should excuse the pooh-poohing of school sports by zealots, agenda-driven advocates, or journalists peddling salacious tales.

The enthusiastic embrace of social and emotional learning we see today makes it an especially odd time to see disdain visited upon school sports—when athletics boast a long and impressive track record of cultivating just those things. If educators and reformers are seeking ways to promote values such as self-control, responsibility, and good citizenship, they should ignore the snark and keep in mind that high schools already house established programs with a track record of doing just that.

Frederick Hess is director of education policy studies at AEI and an executive editor at Education Next.

This post originally appeared on Rick Hess Straight Up.

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There’s an old joke — dating back at least to the 1980s, when Polish labor leader Lech Walesa helped to defeat the Soviet Union — that the definition of an American neoconservative is someone who loves labor unions, just so long as the unions are in enemy countries.

I’ve heard it told for years in at least two distinct tones. There’s a version with an edge, as an exasperated accusation made by American labor leaders who wish they’d get more support at home from Republicans. And there’s a self-deprecating version, as told by people on the center-right to deflect criticism that they are union-busters or otherwise opposed to the working man or woman.

Perhaps it’s time for third version of the joke, one focused on education reform. A neoconservative is someone who likes teacher strikes, so long as they are in Iran.

After all, what better place? That was my thought upon reading the news, on the website of a small Washington-based organization called the Islamic State of Iran Crime Research Center, that teachers in Iran “have been sitting down in protest across various Iranian provinces, both inside classrooms, and outside their schools.”

Radio Farda, the Iran channel of the American government’s Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, has more details: “A third round of nationwide teachers’ strikes in Iran entered its third day March 5, with teachers across the country holding sit-ins in their school principals’ offices to demand better pay, the right to form unions, and the freeing of all jailed teachers’ rights activists. The three-day strike was organized by the Coordinating Council of Teachers Syndicates in Iran (CCTSI), which reported that teachers at more than 1,000 primary and secondary schools in 100 cities participated.”

The Radio Farda report goes on: “Iranian teachers are also demanding the removal of all legal hurdles for the establishment of independent trade unions and the immediate release of their jailed colleagues. Several teachers, including Esmaeil Abdi, Mahmoud Beheshti Langarudi, Mohammad Habibi, Rouhollah Mardani, and Abdul Reza Qanbari are behind bars. They are accused of various ‘security crimes,’ but labor rights activists say they were jailed for their participation in teachers’ union activities.”

According to Radio Farda, Habibi “has been sentenced to lashes.”

Hashem Khastar, the head of the teachers union in Mashad, Iran’s second-largest city, “was recently abducted by plainclothesmen. Days later his family discovered that he was shackled to a bed at a psychiatric hospital,” Radio Farda reports.

In the past, American teachers unions have spoken out in support of their Iranian colleagues. The National Education Association issued a statement in 2010 condemning Iran’s execution of an Iranian teacher named Farzad Kamangar, whose trial lasted five minutes. The president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, issued a January 2, 2018, statement “supporting the protesters in Iran” saying, “the AFT supports all people fighting for basic dignity and rights.”

The March 2019 Iran teacher strikes don’t appear to have prompted formal public statements by the American union leaders, who have lately been preoccupied with contract negotiations in Oakland, Calif., and by teacher walkouts in Los Angeles and Denver.

Teachers unions here in America have plenty of harsh critics. But I’ve never heard one of those critics suggest that union leaders should be punished with lashes, execution, or being shackled to the bed of a psychiatric hospital.

I can hear the history teachers now getting ready to point out that plenty of union organizers and activists here in the U.S. have been brutally beat up, too. But one needn’t airbrush American labor history or minimize the real challenges faced by American union organizers to understand the difference between contemporary America and Iran on these issues. In fact, the distinction between free and unfree societies is something you’d hope American students might learn in school.

The U.S. labor leaders of the 1980s, after all, were able to criticize Reagan’s handling of the air traffic controllers while also working with him to support Walesa’s Solidarity movement against the Communists in Poland, where so-called union leaders were appointed by the government rather than freely elected by members.

Richard Kahlenberg tells some of this story in his biography of longtime American Federation of Teachers president Albert Shanker. As Kahlenberg tells it, on Poland, “if anything, Shanker was more hard-line than Ronald Reagan.” The book recounts how Solidarity’s managing director of press and information, Zygmunt Przetakiewicz, established a U.S. office at the headquarters of the United Federation of Teachers in New York City, an AFT affiliate. Radio Moscow accused Shanker of being a CIA stooge. Shanker, in a newspaper column quoted by Kahlenberg, faulted Reagan for responding initially to martial law in Poland with “silence, then mushiness and evasion.”

The threats posed by Iran’s nuclear ambitions, regional adventurism, Islamist terrorism, and human rights abuses are different from those that were posed by Soviet Communism. And today’s American teacher union leaders are different from those of the 1980s. Maybe, though, there are similarities, too. It could be an opportunity not only to revise and retell an old joke, but also to recover some elements of the unlikely political alliance that helped contribute to Cold War victory and to an expansion of human freedom.

Ira Stoll is managing editor of Education Next.

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For nearly 50 years student achievement gap fails to close

Harvard-Stanford study finds opportunity gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students equivalent to three to four years of learning

March 11, 2019—Differences in the performance on math, reading, and science tests between disadvantaged and advantaged U.S. students have remained essentially unchanged for nearly half a century. In a new article for Education Next, Eric A. Hanushek, Paul E. Peterson, Laura M. Talpey, and Ludger Woessmann report that the achievement gap is as wide today as it was for children born in 1954.

The study contradicts recent insights that socioeconomic achievement gaps have substantially widened in recent years. “After looking at a comprehensive, systematic set of student assessments, we are unable to confirm earlier, more limited research that purports to show income-achievement differences have grown dramatically,” Peterson said.

The authors used a representative sample of student performance data on four national assessments—designed to be comparable over time—administered to students born between 1954 and 2001: both the Long-Term Trend and main versions of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP); the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Survey (TIMSS); and the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). The sample includes a total of 98 tests administered to 2,737,583 students over 47 years. The authors examine both the difference in achievement between the highest and lowest 10 percent of the socioeconomic distribution (the 90–10 gap) and the difference between the highest and lowest 25 percent (the 75–25 gap).

Among the key findings:

Extremely disadvantaged students three to four years behind affluent peers. The current gap between the highest 10 percent and lowest 10 percent of the socio-economic distribution (90-10 gap) is roughly three to four years of learning, or more than one standard deviation. Similarly, the current gap between students from the highest 25 percent and the lowest 25 percent of the socio-economic distribution (75-25 gap) amounts to over two-and-a-half years of learning (80 percent of a standard deviation).

Opportunity gap unwavering over last half-century. For students born in 1954, the 90-10 achievement gap was nearly 110 percent of a standard deviation, while for those born in 2001, the gap declined only slightly to one standard deviation. The disparity between students in the top and bottom 25% of the socioeconomic distribution was about 80 percent of a standard deviation for the 1954 birth cohort. This 75-25 gap opened very slightly during the next two decades, only to settle back to barely below 80 percent for the cohort born in 2001.

Gaps between other student subgroups also remain nearly constant. The authors find a persistent achievement gap between students eligible for free and reduced price lunch compared with those who are not eligible. While the Black-White achievement gap did narrow in the early decades of the period under study, it has plateaued for the past quarter century.

Overall performance improves among 14-year-old students over time, but these gains fade by age 17. Performance in math, reading, and science by 14-year-old students has improved steadily on average throughout the past five decades, at roughly 40 percent of a standard deviation, or approximately 8 percent per decade. However, gains among 17-year-old students amount to only about 2 percent per decade and none at all for the last quarter century.

The authors suggest that two off-setting educational developments may have contributed to the unwavering achievement gap. “On the positive side, the country has launched multiple compensatory education programs, including head start, school desegregation, federal aid to districts with low-income students, special education programs, and court-ordered reductions in fiscal inequalities across school districts,” says Hanushek. “On the negative side, we appear to be have seen a decline in teacher quality that has had particularly dire consequences for low-income students.”

To receive an embargoed copy of “The Achievement Gap Fails to Close: Half-century of testing shows persistently wide divide between have-nots and haves” or to speak with the authors, please contact Jackie Kerstetter at jackie.kerstetter@educationnext.org. The article will be available Monday, March 18 on educationnext.org and will appear in the Summer 2019 issue of Education Next, available in print on May 24, 2019.

About the Authors: Eric A. Hanushek is the Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. Paul E. Peterson is senior editor of Education Next and professor of government and director of Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance as well as a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. Laura Talpey is a research associate at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. Ludger Woessmann is professor of economics at the University of Munich.

About Education Next: Education Next is a scholarly journal committed to careful examination of evidence relating to school reform, published by the Education Next Institute and the Program on Education Policy and Governance at the Harvard Kennedy School. For more information, please visit educationnext.org.

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