Achievement Gap

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A child from the bottom income quartile

is five times less likely to earn a bachelor’s

degree by age 24 than is a child from a

family in the top income quartile.

It is critical to increase college access, particularly for low-income students and students of color, because a college education is essentially an antidote to poverty and the growing income divide.

College graduates earn higher wages and accumulate greater wealth in their lifetimes, which translates into economic mobility and stability:

*
In order to counteract the likely outcome that low-income students and students of color will not have equal access to a college-prep trajectory, we work to support Breakthrough students beginning in the pivotal middle school years to get them on, and keep them on, the college path. As a result, more than 80% of Breakthrough students are accepted to college preparatory programs, which compares to an average of 13% of students from the same socioeconomic background.

The wage gap between high school graduates and college graduates is large and growing. In 1980, a college graduate earned 50% more than a high school graduate. In 2004, a wholesale mlb jerseys college graduate earned 100% more than a high school graduate (U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 1975-2001).
* According to the U.S. Department of Labor, graduates from four year colleges earn, on average, $800,000 more in their lifetimes, than individuals who only have a high school diploma (U.S. Department of Labor (October 2000).
It’s precisely the young people who could most benefit from the opportunity to go to college, khi and the economic mobility it provides, who are least likely to attend and graduate from college.
* In 2004, 79% of high-income high school graduates attended college, but only 50% of low-income high school graduates did. While the percentage of low-income students that go to college has cheap nfl jerseys increased over the years, it has yet to reach the levels of high-income students reached more than 30 years ago (in 1973, 64% of high-income high school graduates attended college) ?ρυθμ?σει? (NCES, The Condition of Education, 2007, Table 25-1).
* When we look at low-income students’ persistence through the education pipeline (i.e., looking at students’ progression from 8th grade to college completion), the disparities are much more stark. Only 7% of low-income 8th graders students complete a marcha Bachelor’s degree 12 years later, while 60% of high-income students do (NCES, The Condition of Education, 2003, Table 22-1a).
* Even the most academically gifted low-income students do not approach the levels of college completion of high-income students. In fact, the highest achieving low-income students graduate college at about the same rate as the lowest-achieving high-income students. Twenty-nine percent of the highest- achieving low-income 8th graders ultimately complete a bachelor’s degree, while 30% of the lowest-achieving high-income 8th graders complete a bachelor’s degree (The Condition of Education 2003, National Center for Education Statistics, Table 22-2).

Increasing college access and opportunity is not only a moral imperative,
it is a matter of economic self-interest:

* The U.S. economy needs more college-educated workers. With demographic shifts (i.e., baby boomers retiring) and the growth in high-skilled jobs, it’s projected that by 2012 the U.S. will have a shortage of over three million college educated workers and a surplus of close to three million workers who have less than a high school education (2006 Analysis by Anthony Carnevale of Current Population Survey (1992-2004) and Census Population Projection Estimates)
* The U.S. has an enormous pool of untapped talent in its high-achieving underserved students. When these students don’t go to college, their individual life chances are limited, but the U.S. economy is impacted as well because employers are deprived of hundreds of thousands of highly skilled, college-educated workers (Carnevale, A., Access to opportunity: The need for universal education and training after high school. Diplomas Count 2007: Ready for What? Preparing Students for College, Careers, and Life After High School, Education Week 26 (40); Wyner, Bridgeland, & Diulio, The Achievement Trap).

Breakthrough students exemplify America’s untapped talent.

These students are highly motivated, have academic promise, but come from backgrounds (e.g., low-income, racial/ethnic minority, first wholesale nfl jerseys in family to go to college, etc.) that are closely associated with low college attendance and completion. Despite being smart and highly motivated, we cannot expect these students to overcome the systemic barriers they face all on their own:

* The rigor of a high school curriculum is the strongest predictor of college completion. Eighty-two percent of students who have had the most Weselnym intense high school curriculum ultimately earn a bachelor’s degree, but 9% of students who have had the least intense curriculum earn a bachelor’s degree (Adelman, C., The Toolbox Revisited, 2006).
* A rigorous high school curriculum is particularly important for low-income students and students of color. The gap in college completion rates between high-income and low-income students is reduced by half when both low-income and high-income students take Calculus by 12th grade (The Condition of Education 2003, National Center for Education Statistics, Table 22-2).
* Yet low-income students and students of color are much less likely to attend high schools that offer rigorous curricula and African-American, Latino and Native American students are much less likely to be enrolled in college-prep tracks, as compared to White and Asian students. Sixty-five percent of high-income students are enrolled in a college prep curriculum, as compared to only 28% of low-income students (Gates Education Policy Paper. Closing the graduation gap: Toward high schools that prepare all students for college, work and citizenship. Seattle, WA: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2003).

Without the kind of support Breakthrough provides, it’s possible
that our highly motivated, underserved students will not realize their
full potential, or worse, fall through the cracks:

* Research shows that middle school is a critical time in a student’s academic life; the transition to middle school is associated with declines in academic performance, motivation and students’ sense of self-efficacy (Anderman & Midgley, Changes in Achievement Goal Orientation after the Transition to Middle School, 1996; Mullins & Irvin, Transition into middle school, Middle School Journal, January 2000).
* to Research also indicates that middle school is a period in which achievement gaps become more pronounced specifically among high-achieving students. One recent study shows that after 5th touch) grade, increases in achievement gaps between black and white students are concentrated among students with the highest initial levels of achievement (Hanushek & Rivkin, School Quality and the Black-White Achievement Gap, October 2006).
* In public schools focused on getting their kids to proficiency (and complying with the No Child Left Behind Act), high-achieving students may become less of a priority in favor of focusing on students who are closer to reaching the proficiency threshold (i.e., the are skills/ability of high-achieving students then exceed what is being taught in the classroom) (Neal, D. & Schanzenbach, D., Left Behind By Design: Proficiency Counts and Test-Based Accountability, 2007).
* High academic achievement within school is closely associated with having access to learning opportunities outside of school, but these out-of-school learning opportunities are less accessible to low-income students and students of color (Gordon, E., The Idea of Supplementary Education, Pedagogical Inquiry and Practice, March 2002).
* When low-income students don’t have access to out-of-school learning experiences, not only do they not get the enrichment they need to accelerate learning, but there is a real danger that they will fall behind. While middle class students make some nominal gains in reading and language achievement wholesale mlb jerseys during the summer, low-income students lose ground (on average, low-income students lose about 2-3 months in reading achievement during the summer). Researchers believe that more than half of the achievement gap between low-income and high-income students can be attributed to unequal access to summer learning opportunities (Cooper, Nye, Charlton, Lindsey, Greathouse. The effects of summer vacation on achievement test scores: A narrative and meta-analytic review. Review of Educational Research, 1996; Alexander, K. Entwisle, D., and Olson, L. (2007). Lasting consequences of the summ

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