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Learning Point Associates Releases New Report on Closing Academic Achievement Gaps

National study group of leading scholars provides strategies for policymakers, educators, parents, and the community

October 5, 2004

Naperville, IL—Learning Point Associates has released a new report that addresses the lack of equitable experiences between ethnic-minority groups and their economically advantaged, white, and Asian peers as a contributing factor to growing education achievement gaps. All Students Reaching the Top: Strategies for Closing Academic Achievement Gaps, written by members of the National Study Group for the Affirmative Development of Academic Ability, was released at the Patterson Research Institute's Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., on September 24, 2004. The report is available at www.ncrel.org/gap/studies/thetop.htm.

The National Study Group was organized and supported through the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL®), a wholly owned subsidiary of Learning Point Associates; the Institute for Urban and Minority Education at Columbia University Teachers College; and The College Board. It was made up of 20 leading scholars from multiple disciplines for the purpose of determining the best interventions for closing academic achievement gaps.

The National Study Group recommends that policymakers, educators, parents, and community members help close the experience and achievement gaps through systematic and systemic changes in education policy and practice, school structures, and social and relational practices and programs.

"We must agree to identify and employ initiatives that hold the greatest promise for moving all students—including students of color, second-language learners, and those in under-resourced rural and urban settings—to high levels of achievement," said Gina Burkhardt, CEO, Learning Point Associates. "The National Study Group's report is an important contribution to defining, understanding, and eliminating the gaps in achievement among student groups."

Primary report author Dr. Edmund W. Gordon, professor emeritus at Columbia University Teachers College, was in Naperville, Illinois, on September 27, 2004, addressing school and district leaders as well as state and national policymakers at a summit on teacher quality and achievement gaps sponsored by NCREL. The summit, "Closing Achievement Gaps One Teacher at a Time," is an example of how NCREL engages education stakeholders in critical conversations around policy issues that affect school improvement and student achievement.

Learning Point Associates, based in Naperville, Illinois, is a nonprofit organization established in 1984 as the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL). The organization's three business units—Evaluation & Policy Research Group, Professional Services Group, and Research & Development Group—have a solid history of helping policymakers and educators make fact-based decisions about sustained school improvement through research-based solutions. Learn more about the products and services provided by Learning Point Associates at www.learningpt.org.

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