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achievement gap

Scantron Test Form
The Review Univ. of Delaware / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Poor kids in Michigan, and across the country, do worse in school than their wealthier peers.

That’s particularly true for kids attending schools where most of the other students are also low-income, too. Schools that do manage to get kids in concentrated poverty performing on par with wealthier peers are the exception.

This information is probably not all that surprising to you. But if you need a visual aid, take a look at where the bottom 5% of schools are in Michigan. 

Kid hanging upside down at playground
Virginia State Parks / Flickr CC / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

By the time they are just 18 months old, kids from low-income families and those from higher-income families display significant differences in their vocabularies.

Studies suggest that by age three, poor children hear roughly 30 million fewer words than their affluent peers. It's a disparity that researchers in the early 1990s coined the "word gap."

Young boy doing homework
Eric Cuthbert / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

When a student is identified as gifted, they are often given access to resources to help them flourish. Things like accelerated classes, individualized learning plans, and academically rigorous instruction.

But critics of gifted and talented programs argue that they reinforce race and class opportunity gaps. That may be because students of color are underrepresented in gifted programs relative to white students.

Jozef Jason, 7, reads to his barber
Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

Most kids will head back to school this week ready to learn. But some will have to spend a good chunk of time re-learning things they forgot over the summer. The dreaded “summer slide” has been linked to persistent achievement gaps between kids from lower-income families and their better-off peers.

Washer and Dryer
Kevin Hale / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

More than 6.5 million K-12 students each year are chronically absent, defined as missing 15 or more school days during the school year, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

That's 13% of the student population.

Preschoolers
U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

When State of Opportunity talks about inequality, there seems to be an overwhelming amount of bad news. Income inequality is growing.

frankjuarez / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Today, the most economically segregating school district border in the nation is the one that separates Detroit Public Schools from the Grosse Pointe Public School system.

That's according to a new report released Tuesday by EdBuild, a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit that studies school funding.

Young boy doing homework
Eric Cuthbert / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

School districts get a certain amount of money from the state based on the number at-risk students they have.

The money goes towards resources that help schools meet the greater challenges of educating these students. Things like professional development for teachers, improving curriculum, enhancing parental involvement, and providing other activities tied to raising student achievement.

Lucelia Ribeiro / Flickr Creative Commons

Many low-income, black, and Hispanic students start kindergarten without the academic skills they need to succeed.

Compared to their white peers, African American and Hispanic kids are anywhere from 9 to 10 months behind in math and 7 to 12 months behind in reading when they enter kindergarten.

Gabriel Saldana / Flickr Creative Commons / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

This morning in the Detroit Free Press, I read a story about Misty Copeland.

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