Mind the (Other) Gap! The Growing Excellence Gap in K-12 Education, a recently released report from Indiana University's Center for Evaluation and Education Policy, finds that there is a growing gap at the top levels of achievement between historically underprivileged minorities and their more advantaged peers after analysis of state and national assessment data. The reports authors have dubbed this gap at the highest achievement levels, the ‘excellence gap’.
The report calls for seven key recommendations to address and close the excellence gap, including:
1. Make Closing the Excellence Gap a National and State Priority.
2. Acknowledge That Both Minimum Competency and Excellence Can be Addressed at the Same Time.
3. Set a Realistic Goal to Shrink Gaps.
4. Determine the Appropriate Mix of Federal, State, and Local Policies and Interventions.
5. Include the Performance of Advanced Students in Discussions of Common Standards.
6. Address the “Low-hanging Policy Fruit” Immediately.
7. Conduct More Research – Much More Research – on Advanced Learning and Talent Development.
CEC has been an active leader in the effort to preserve and expand the only federal program dedicated to addressing the unique learning needs of America’s 3 million students with gifts and talent, the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act. As is highlighted in this report, the Javits Act is a tragically small program, only receiving $7.5 million last year, hampering its ability to achieve its goal of supporting gifted education nationally. CEC urges all of its members to advocate for increased funding for the Javits Act as Congress considers funding levels for next year by visiting CEC’s Legislative Action Center.