Journal Article: Closing the Achievement Gap: Lessons From Illinois' Golden Spike High-Poverty High-Performing Schools


EDUCATION -- United States, ACADEMIC achievement, POOR children, CHILDREN of minorities, ILLINOIS, UNITED States


McGee, Glenn W.




Lawrence Erlbaum Associates


The achievement gap is the single most critical issue in American education. This study illustrates the difference in academic performance between low-income children and their peers, between minority children and their classmates, and between those schools that serve a majority of children from low-income families and those that serve a more advantaged population. Using a research framework, the author identifies and examines Golden Spike schools-Illinois schools that have a sustained record of closing the achievement gap. Quantitative and qualitative analyses reveal that the Golden Spike schools have distinct commonalities in leadership, literacy, teacher qualities, and community engagement, while characteristics such as school size, class size, and alignment with state standards make little, if any, difference in their ability to close the achievement gap. The study concludes with state and local policy recommendations that will enable high-poverty schools to make substantial progress in bridging the gap. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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