On September 30th, I wrote a post about “The” Achievement Gap” suggesting that we need to pay attention to “who” has an “achievement gap.” I also suggested that we should be thinking about it as an OPPORTUNITY-ACHIEVEMENT GAP.
From that post:
Don’t all kids have the potential to be achievers–relative to their potential? So, is there an achievement gap for children who aren’t currently reading at “grade level” but have potential to read at and, equally important, above that level, given the kinds of instruction and opportunity to learn that they need. Here’s a perspective on another group of children (with dyslexia) who experience an achievement gap.
I assume that our best intention is to eliminate the gap between potential and achievement….for all children.
How do we do that?
What if we had a national movement to focus everyone’s interest in a child’s literacy achievement? I recently read an in depth treatment of such a movement to address the literacy gap: Literate Nation*. The text not only talks about who is in the achievement gap (SEEDS: Struggling readers and learners from all social groups, Economically disadvantaged youngsters, English language learners, Students with dyslexia, and Specific learning disabilities and specific language impairments), but the work we must do-as a nation-to close that gap.
It is clear from their work that they have a very thoughtful plan and are cognizant of the challenges that must be met if we hope to close the “potential-achievement” gap.
*Blueprint for a Literate Nation by Cinthia Colette, 2013, The Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation.