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The Economic Benefits of Closing Educational Achievement
Gaps: $2.3 Trillion
Closing racial and ethnic achievement gaps-by
raising incomes and increasing the size of the economy-would also have
significant positive impacts on federal, state, and local tax
Robert Lynch and Patrick Oakford November 10, 2014
Our nation is currently experiencing growing levels
of income and wealth inequality, which are contributing to longstanding racial
and ethnic gaps in education outcomes and other areas. These large gaps, in
combination with the significant demographic changes already underway, are
threatening the economic future of our country.
closing racial and ethnic gaps is not only key to fulfilling the potential of
people of color; it is also crucial to the well-being of our nation.
in academic achievement are a function of a host of factors, such as income and
wealth inequality, access to child care and preschool programs, nutrition,
physical and emotional health, environmental factors, community and family
structures, differences in the quality of instruction and school, and
suggests there are a wide range of public policies that could help narrow
educational achievement gaps; this report demonstrates that there are enormous
payoffs to closing the gaps through public policies. It also outlines effective
public policy strategies to achieve this goal, though their details are left to
the United States were able to close the educational achievement gaps between
native-born white children and black and Hispanic children, the U.S. economy
would be 5.8 percent-or nearly $2.3 trillion-larger in 2050. The cumulative
increase in GDP from 2014 to 2050 would amount to $20.4 trillion, or an average
of $551 billion per year. Thus, even very large public investments that close
achievement gaps would pay for themselves in the form of economic growth by
racial and ethnic achievement gaps-by raising incomes and increasing the size of
the economy-would also have significant positive impacts on federal, state, and
local tax revenues.
government investments in closing educational achievement gaps that cost less
than an average of $198 billion annually over the next 37 years would pay for
themselves even in strictly budgetary terms. To put this figure in perspective,
consider that the annual cost to implement the Obama administration's
high-quality, universal pre-K program averages $7.5 billion per year over the
first 10 years.
potential economic gains illustrate in stark terms the massive waste of human
talent and opportunity that we risk if achievement gaps are not closed. They
also suggest the magnitude of the public investments the nation should be
willing to make now and in the decades to come to close achievement gaps. Even
from a very narrow budgetary perspective, the tax revenue gains this study
forecasts suggest that investments to close racial and ethnic achievement gaps
could amply pay for themselves in the long run.
In Boston schools,
Black, Latino males
report also raises questions among researchers about whether the School
Department has unintentionally created a two-track system - one that provides
white and Asian males with the greatest learning opportunities while black and
Latino males are left with woefully diminished access.
By James Vaznis
November 13, 2014
Black and Latino males are
facing an educational crisis in Boston, lagging substantially behind their peers
on the MCAS, high school graduation rates, and other barometers that lower their
prospects for college or workforce success, according to a city-commissioned
report being released Thursday.
Collectively, the data paint
troubling gaps in achievement that persist more than 40 years after
court-ordered desegregation of the city's school system.
The report also raises questions among researchers
about whether the School Department has unintentionally created a two-track
system - one that provides white and Asian males with the greatest learning
opportunities while black and Latino males are left with woefully diminished
For instance, just 8.6 percent
of black males and 8 percent of Latino males in the city's school system were
enrolled in its highly regarded exam schools in 2012, compared with 45 percent
of white males and 47.8 percent of Asian males.
On the other end of the
spectrum, the report said, black and Latino males were far more likely to be
enrolled in special education classrooms, where instruction is considered
inferior to that in regular classrooms.
Among some of the findings:
- Just 22.1 percent of black
males and 24.9 percent of Latino males scored proficient or higher on the
English MCAS exams in elementary school, compared with 56.9 percent for white
males and 48.5 percent for Asian males.
- 66.9 percent of black males
and 60.4 percent of Latino males graduated within four years, compared with 81.5
percent of white males and 90.5 percent of Asian males.
The School Department's failure
to help many black and Latino males acquire the necessary job training could
make it more difficult for them to gain long-term employment and lead to
unhealthy decisions that could be a drain on the city's vitality, it states.
Ayomide Olumuyiwa, a student
representative on the Boston School Committee, said he was unaware that black
and Latino males were lagging until it was mentioned at a recent committee
"It's just alarming," said
Olumuyiwa, a senior at the O'Bryant School of Math and Science, an exam school
in Roxbury. "This is something students wouldn't find out on their own unless
Olumuyiwa self identifies as a
first-generation African-American whose parents are from Nigeria. He started off
his education in Randolph and then moved to Boston in the seventh grade. He said
he recalls that his first math class in Boston covered the same material he had
in the fifth grade in Randolph.
"I thought they made a
mistake," Olumuyiwa said.
Grades, before test scores, hold the
secret to success
- November 10, 2014
From Sun-Times Library
It's not all about the test scores, stupid.
That sums up a new University of Chicago study, a
groundbreaking analysis of middle-school student performance that lays out which
measures best predict success in high school and college.
What matters most for later academic success are
middle-school grades and attendance, far more than test scores and demographic
factors (race, poverty and the like), concluded the study of Chicago Public
Schools fifth- through eleventh-graders. Standardized test scores are not the
best predictors of academic success, as our test-crazed world might have us
The real-world implications are clear: the Chicago
Public Schools should continue to scale back its intense focus on standardized
tests and turn to what matters - boosting middle-school grades and
The researchers found that attendance and overall
grade-point average in middle school were the strongest predictors of actual
school performance in ninth grade and 11th grade, both of which strongly predict
high-school graduation rates and college success.
"Test scores are very good at predicting future test
scores but not as strongly predictive of other outcomes we care about, like
whether students will struggle or succeed in high school coursework or graduate
from college," Elaine Allensworth, director of the university's Consortium on
Chicago School Research and lead author of the study, said in a statement.
Good grades reflect mastery of skills valuable in
college and in life in general, such as broad knowledge (not just reading and
math), writing and capacity for sustained effort. Standardized tests, in
contrast, hone in on a far more narrow band of skills.
The Black Star Project
3509 South King Drive
December 6, 2014 - 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
December 7, 2014 - 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Relations of Power in Organizing
Problems into Issues
Effective Strategy Development
Please call 773.285.9600 for more information or to RSVP
for this free training.
School Bus Drivers in all
The Black Star Project
Wednesday, December 3,
6:30 pm to 7:30 pm
3509 South King Drive
learn about becoming a school bus driver with Illinois Central School Bus
must be safety minded, have a clean driving record and background, be 21 years
old, and pass D.O.T. physical and drug test.
Please call 773.285.9600 for more information or to
Take A Young Black Man To
Sunday, November 23,
In Your City, at Your Place of
This past election cycle, many White elected
officials were invited into Black churches across America. Now we are asking
those same Black churches to invite young Black men to come worship with them.
Please call 773.285.9600 to register your place of worship and to get a
registration kit for "Take A Young Black Man To
to See Greg Wilkerson
Invite Young Black Men Into His Church and Challenge Other Churches To Do the
to See and
Hear - Jesus Is The Life of the Party!
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