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Why Narrowing Achievement Gaps Should Remain a National Priority

Robert Ream, Ph.D., UC Riverside
May 03, 2012 from 12:00 PM to 01:30 PM (America/Los_Angeles / UTC-700)
1130 K Street, Room LL3
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Among the wide-ranging challenges facing American educators, perhaps no issue is more pressing than the inequity in student performance among racial, socioeconomic, and linguistic groups. I rely on decades of research to call attention to the incidence, consequences, causes and policy implications of the gaps and society’s interest in eliminating them. Even though the standards and accountability reforms of the past twenty years coincided with increased achievement for the overall student population, that same approach has failed to substantially narrow the gaps and may have contributed to the perpetuation of educational inequality. A more ecological approach to truly comprehensive school reform that partners families, schools, and communities may be necessary if we are to attain both equity and excellence in education.

R_ReamRobert Ream, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Riverside. He received his Ph.D. from UC Santa Barbara in 2001, and joined the UC Riverside faculty in 2004 after postdoctoral fellowships at Princeton University and the RAND Corporation. His research explores how persistent racial gaps in educational outcomes are significantly attributable to social dynamics, such as trust and caring, within and beyond schools. His research appears in many scholarly journals and his book, Uprooting Children: Mobility, Social Capital, and Mexican American Achievement (New York: LFB Scholarly), was published in 2005 in the book series The New Americans: Recent Immigration and American Society. Before embarking on a career in research, he served as a legislative aide to former California State Senator Gary K. Hart.

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