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The Education Achievement Gap: Minnesota's Embarrassment
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The Education Achievement Gap: Minnesota's Embarrassment
Minnesota students are traditionally among the nation's top performers on key standardized tests. Unfortunately, the statewide averages mask an embarrassing reality. Students of color consistently score far below their white classmates. This disparity in academic performance between groups of students is known as the achievement gap. It's a national problem. But Minnesota's gap is particularly wide.

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Document Racial learning gap defies easy explanation or solution
Any way you look at it, students of color aren't doing as well in school as their white classmates. The academic disparities among racial groups are known collectively as "the achievement gap." Each round of test scores puts the problem in sharp focus. It's a persistent, national problem. But recent reports have shown an especially wide gap in Minnesota. There's no single cause, or a clear solution. Still, schools are under increased pressure to close the divide. (09/27/2004)

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Document The cost of Minnesota racial achievement gap
Minnesota's racial achievement gap is wide and persistent. By junior high nearly half of the state's minority students are testing well below their white counterparts in reading, writing, and math. Poverty, experts say, is one of the most reliable indicators of who will fall into the achievement gap, and minorities are disproportionately represented among the state's poor. They and society pay a high cost for their not doing well in school. (09/27/2004)
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Document Roots of gap based in race, class, culture differences
Low performance by African American students is not new. There have always been educational barriers for African Americans. You need only look back at generations of school segregation and racial discrimination. But others say some of the barriers are often imposed by the students themselves. (09/27/2004)
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Document Can early ed close the gap?
Closing the gap is a top priority for educators and state officials. Ideas are plentiful. But lately, one suggestion has won over more than just educators. (09/27/2004)
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Document Closing the gap: one school's approach
Schools in high-poverty areas, with many students of color, are at a distinct disadvantage. Many are struggling. But others appear to be defying the odds, making huge academic gains. Dayton's Bluff Elementary was one of St. Paul's lowest performing schools just a few years ago. Now, it's one of the best. (09/27/2004)

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Debating the solutions: Listen to the Midmorning special town hall forum discuss solutions to the racial achievement gap. (90 minutes)