In a changing world that demands new skills, a vital concern of public education is the gap in academic performance between low- and high-achieving students. There is no excuse for the achievement gaps that persist among poor and minority students in schools today. All students can succeed at high levels, regardless of race, ethnicity and economic background. Several countries have successfully confronted inequities in achievement, demonstrating that any school can close achievement gaps regardless of the community they serve, and that all students can achieve at high levels when they are provided with the right opportunities. This book is about understanding what factors selected countries have applied to promote progress and what factors contribute to progress in the closing of achievement gaps. It is about creating opportunities for all students.
Closing the Achievement Gap from an International Perspective: Transforming STEM for Effective Education is written in response to rising concern for the improvement of quality education – especially in mathematics and science – provided to all students. The contributors take a systematic view of the subject, beginning with a cross-national analysis of teacher qualifications and the achievement gap that spans 50 countries. The content of the book is organized in sections describing education around the globe: North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. Individual chapters offer close-up analysis of efforts to close achievement gaps in the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, England, Turkey, China, South Africa and Australia among many others.
The contributors provide information on the achievement gap in mathematics and science, review current research, and present strategies for fostering improvement and raising performance with a focus on school-related variables that adversely affect educational outcomes among poor and minority students. The authors of the various chapters looked at how students’ data correlated with classroom practices, teacher instruction and academic programming, as part of their efforts to measure student growth. Qualitative and quantitative data are provided to provide evidence not only of the problem, but also for the solution. The book concludes with a chapter on promoting equality and equity to shrink the achievement gap worldwide.