Texas African American and Hispanic Students Closing
The Achievement Gap in Success For All Schools
A recent study of data from the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS), shows that Success For All schools are substantially closing the gap in reading performance between themselves and the far less impoverished schools in the rest of the state. Gains were even more pronounced for African- American and Hispanic students at Success For All schools. The achievement gap between these students and white students closed significantly more than did the gap between white students and African- American and Hispanic students in other Texas schools.
Success For All is a comprehensive reform model for elementary schools, designed especially for schools with a high population of low- income students. Begun by Johns Hopkins University researchers Robert Slavin (pictured at right) and Nancy Madden in 1987 in one inner-city Baltimore school, Success For All is now in more than 1,800 schools in 49 states and five other countries. As of Fall 2000, about 1 million children are in schools that have implemented Success For All, now a non-profit foundation.
Using the Texas data, which is available on the Internet, researchers for Success For All compared state-wide reading performance improvement and improvement at Success For All schools. They found that gains increased with the number of years that the schools implemented the SFA program. The percentage of students who passed the TAAS in those schools were up 18.8 percent compared with gains of 11.1 percent throughout the rest of the state.
The researchers found that in 1994, the TAAS passing rates for African American students at schools that adopted Success For All that year was 25.6 percent behind the passing rate for white students. By 1998, the African American students at SFA schools were only 10.6 percentage points behind white students. At non-SFA schools, African- American students had started slightly closer to their white counterparts in 1994, but by 1998 remained on average 13.7 percent behind their white classmates.
In the same Success For All schools, the percentage of Hispanic students -- the largest ethnic group in Success For All's Texas schools -- who passed in 1994 was 17.4 points behind white students. By 1998, they were only 6.9 percentage points behind white students in the rest of the state. Hispanic students in non-SFA schools remained 9.5 percent behind white students. These figures represent both Spanish-dominant and English-dominant speaking children of Hispanic origin.
To view the entire report, visit http://www.csos.jhu.edu/crespar/Reports/report51.pdf Note: you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader version 4.0. To downlink a free upgrade, visit http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html.
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