Closing the Racial Achievement Gap

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By 2014, just eight years from now, the No Child Left Behind Act mandates that there be no racial achievement gap in American education — none. All children — black, white, Hispanic, Asian — will be performing on the same bell curve of test scores.

It's a tough deadline and a beautiful idea. Trouble is, despite Bush administration claims, most studies show it is not happening.

Test score gaps show up in kindergarten, and just get worse, except where they don't. There are trend-bucking success stories in this country - remarkable schools where that gap is being closed, child by child.

This hour On Point: we talk with three principals in the trenches who have made it happen in the war on America's education achievement gap.


Peter Davis, Principal, Hill Classical Middle School in Long Beach, California. Seven years ago the school was threatened to be taken over by the state. Now it's one of 292 schools nationwide to be recognized as a 2006 No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School.

Sha Regans, vice principal, Team Academy Charter School, which was founded in 2002 and serves students in fifth through eighth grades. The school is one of 52 KIPP schools nationwide, or Knowledge is Power Program schools. His students' math scores jumped from the 31st percentile his first year to the 91st percentile this past year.

Rick Hill, principal, Cypress Grove Intermediate School. His school is the only school in Texas that Standard & Poor's identified as having reduced the achievement gap for both African Americans and Hispanics.

This program aired on November 29, 2006.


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