Improving Achievement Gaps
Although frequently out of the news, achievement gaps remain a constant challenge to public educators. NEA’s work in improving student achievement for all students, however, continues non-stop. Tennessee member Mae Pardlow relates a success story in our Last Bell column (page 56). Her school benefited from the NEA Foundation’s groundbreaking $6.2 million Closing the Achievement Gaps Initiative that highlights the importance of engaging not only classroom personnel, but school- and district-level administrators, students’ families, and Association leaders.
This collaboration is yielding significant results—not just in Pardlow’s classroom, but nationwide. In Chattanooga/Hamilton County, Tennessee, test scores are on the rise: from 2004 to 2008, achievement gaps dropped by 13 percent in reading and 10.5 percent in math. The NEA Foundation will share with NEA members successful teaching strategies gleaned from the study of its first five-year pilot in Chattanooga, which concludes in mid-October.
And, based on this early success, the Foundation will provide funding for new sites in 2010.
Editor Doug Walker