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Achievement Gap

Achievement gaps in education refer to disparities in student outcomes, such as academic test score gaps between different groups of students. In addition to standardized test scores, researchers have examined group differences in course grades; course enrollments; dropout rates; college application, attendance, and persistence; and adult occupations, income, wealth, and health. A substantial body of research examines test score gaps between different racial-ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender groups—the focus of this entry—although research has also addressed differences among students with disabilities and English Language Learners. What follows is a description of trends in test score differences for students in nationally representative data, a description of the key factors that researchers have examined to explain the achievement gaps, and the possibilities for future research.

Racial-Ethnic Achievement Gaps

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