New Report: The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America’s Schools

Posted by on April 27, 2009

New national report on the economic impact of the educational achievement gap on US economy

The extent to which a society utilizes its human potential is among the chief determinants of its prosperity. In the United States, one focus of concern in this regard has been the existence of a so-called achievement gap in education between certain groups of students and others. While much controversy exists on the causes of the achievement gap, and on what the nation should do to address it, the full range of the achievement gap’s character and consequences has been poorly understood. For one thing, important dimensions of four distinct achievement gaps —(1) between the United States and other nations; (2) between black and Latino2 students and white students; (3) between students of different income levels; and (4) between similar students schooled in different systems or regions—have not always been clarified and documented. In addition, while great emphasis has been placed on the moral challenges raised by the achievement gap, its economic impact has received less attention.

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