How can we close the achievement gap?

The recent article Minorities have not caught up on test scores points out that in the Rowan Salisbury School System, as in many communities across the United States, white students did better in the last year on proficiency exams than their black and Hispanic peers.

Schools Superintendent Dr. Judy Grissom said the results come as no surprise. White students have historically tested better than minority students. Since the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, schools have been concentrating as never before on how to help all students make the grade. ?To help narrow the gap,? Grissom says, ?teachers can start concentrating on individual students? within the class as a whole.

Many schools have used Merit Software to help teachers start concentrating on individual students within a class setting. The most popular resources are Essay Punch, Paragraph Punch, and Book Punch.

Dr. Rebecca Smith, assistant superintendent for curriculum of the Rowan Salisbury School System, says ?we need to have a sense of urgency about closing these achievement gaps. Obstacles of cultural differences and the hardships of poverty can be overcome.? Merit software has a strong track record of helping to narrow the gap.

Merit?s achievements in helping minority students in public schools have been documented by faculty at the Marshall University Graduate College. The evidence shows that Merit also helps schools to teach core curriculum skills when used as part of in-class instruction. It also increases student standardized test scores without teaching to the test.

Students are engaged while using the software. High expectations are set and aspirations are met when using the programs.

What are your experiences in confronting this issue?

How can we close the achievement gap?

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