North Carolina's Opportunity Gap
In most states inequities in the Opportunity to Learn are best illustrated by the difference between the opportunities available to male Black and male White, non-Latino students. North Carolina’s graduation rate for male Black students is 49%; for male White students 69%; a difference of 19%. For more info, see the Schott Foundation for Public Education's report, Given Half a Chance.
National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) has tracked preschool enrollment and funding data in the country for over a decade. Its latest annual "State of Preschool" report presents an alarming set of "firsts" in the 2011-2012 school year: Enrollment in state-funded pre-K programs has stagnated after a decade of growth, and average funding per child has decreased below $4,000 for the first time since NIEER began collecting the data.Read more >
It’s time we recognize that students fall behind not because of inherent character flaws, but because our education policies for the past two decades have focused on implementing tough standards while failing to build support systems that address the societal factors that create barriers to academic success.Read more >
Standards-based reform creates an inherent system of winners and losers by raising the bar and assessing who makes the cut. Supports-based reforms provide and strategically align the needed resources so each student has the opportunity to reach that bar—and surpass it.Read more >
The National Center for Education Policy (NEPC), an OTL ally, has a new, must-read book about the change our nation needs to make from thinking about the achievement gap to trying to fix the opportunity gap that underlies it.Read more >
America's education policies are brimming with contradictions, particularly in the movement surrounding charter schools. While the intent of some charter backers may have once been for educators and parents in a community to create a different learning space for students who weren’t being well served, that’s all changed now. Charters have instead ventured into a brave new world of a movement contradictory to the ends it purports to serve.Read more >