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  1. The Achievement Gap Initiative At Harvard University Minority Student Achievement Network Annual Conference Youth Culture, Parenting, School Quality, and the Achievement Gap: Toward Excellence with Equity June 26, 2008 Ronald F. Ferguson, PhD Faculty Co-Chair & Director of the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University & Founder, Tripod Project for School Improvement Contact: AGI@Harvard.edu, Erin Hardy 617-496-9154 Web Addresses: www.AGI.Harvard.edu and www.tripodproject.org

  2. Some Context

  3. US Population Shares in 2000

  4. US Population SharesProjected for 2050

  5. Program for International Student Assessment, 15-Year Olds, 2003, Math Literacy in OECD Nations (Dark Blue = U.S. Students)

  6. Program for International Student Assessment, 15-Year Olds, 2003, Math Problem Solving in OECD Nations (Dark Blue = U.S. Students)

  7. The Goal: With regard to race, ethnicity, and nationality, the goal should be group proportional equality.

  8. A Social, Cultural and Political Movement for Excellence with Equity Movement Strategies Policies Programs Projects

  9. There is an urgent need for: • Youth cultures that more consistently support behaviors consistent with academic learning and the pursuit of excellence; • Parenting that nurtures intellectual growth and balances warmth and responsiveness with structure and demandingness; • Teaching that engages and challenges students to achieve at higher levels; • Community supports to supplement parents and teachers; • Leadership to organize, guide and motivate others in a 21st Century Social Movement for Excellence with Equity. Urgency AND Possibility.

  10. Risks Associated with Blame and Mistrust as Impediments to Open, Honest, On-Target Discourse For Closing Achievement Gaps

  11. Reasons to be Hopeful • that Progress is Possible • Minimal between-group differences among infants—it appears we start from the same place. • Black-White IQ gaps are smaller than in the past. • NAEP trends showed dramatic gap narrowing between 1970 and 1990, showing that rapid progress is possible. • Recent NAEP trends for 9-year olds show movement toward group-proportional equality (i.e., all rising but lowest groups rising faster)

  12. But, Some Sobering Realities • Progress for teenagers mostly stopped around 1990. • Most high poverty, high minority schools score very poorly. • Racial gaps are often largest among children of the college educated. • 15 percent of high schools produce half of our dropouts and children of color are heavily concentrated in these schools. • There are large disparities between states, with poor states tending to score lower and receive least federal aid on a per student cost-adjusted basis. • Schools where progress causes scores to rise for all groups while gaps get narrower are not as common as we might like (though recent NAEP Trends for 9-year olds is encouraging).

  13. READING: Black 12th graders whose parents are college graduates have average reading scores below those of white 12th graders whose parents are high school graduates and have never attended college. (National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2005) Compare

  14. MATH: Black 12th graders whose parents are college graduates have average math scores almost as low as those of white 12th graders whose parents are high school dropouts. (National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2000) Compare

  15. SCIENCE: Black 12th graders whose parents are college graduates have average science scores no higher than those of white 12th graders whose parents are high school dropouts. (National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2005) Compare

  16. Parenting Practices and Home Life Styles • Mother-child interactions during infancy help predict test scores in early elementary years and help explain achievement gaps. • Parenting practices (warmth and demandingness) during early school years help predict test scores during early adolescence and help explain achievement gaps. • Compared to Whites and Asians, Black and Hispanic children in elementary school report less leisure reading at home, fewer books at home, more television watching, more televisions in bedrooms, and get sleepier at school.

  17. Home Learning Conditions

  18. My parents want me to tell them what I learned in school. (“Yes,” instead of “Maybe” or “No.”) (Grades 1-6) Source: Calculations by Ron Ferguson, using Tripod Project data for 1st to 6th graders collected spring 2005 & ‘06 from 45 elementary schools in NJ, CT, OH, NM, IA, MA, MI and CA. “Advantaged” students have (by our definition) at least one computer in the home AND are not from single parent households; others are labeled“Disadvantaged.” Advantaged: Asian, N=687; Black, N=1355; Hispanic, N=561; White, N=2647. Disadvantaged: Asian, N=100; Black=936; Hispanic=281; White=337.

  19. At home, someone is always there to help me with my homework if I need it. (“Yes,” instead of “Maybe” or “No.”) (Grades 1-6) Source: Calculations by Ron Ferguson, using Tripod Project data for 1st to 6th graders collected spring 2005 & ‘06 from 45 elementary schools in NJ, CT, OH, NM, IA, MA, MI and CA. “Advantaged” students have (by our definition) at least one computer in the home AND are not from single parent households; others are labeled“Disadvantaged.” Advantaged: Asian, N=687; Black, N=1351; Hispanic, N=564; White, N=2639. Disadvantaged: Asian, N=102; Black=940; Hispanic=281; White=331.

  20. I read almost everyday at home. (“Yes,” instead of “Maybe” or “No.”) (Grades 1-6) Source: Calculations by Ron Ferguson, using Tripod Project data for 1st to 6th graders collected spring 2005 & ‘06 from 45 elementary schools in NJ, CT, OH, NM, IA, MA, MI and CA. “Advantaged” students have (by our definition) at least one computer in the home AND are not from single parent households; others are labeled“Disadvantaged.” Advantaged: Asian, N=688; Black, N=1360; Hispanic, N=567; White, N=2650. Disadvantaged: Asian, N=103; Black=944; Hispanic=285; White=337.

  21. Percentages who agree, “I read almost everyday at home.” (“Yes,” instead of “Maybe” or “No.”) (Grades 1-6) Source: Calculations by Ron Ferguson, using Tripod Project data for 1st to 6th graders collected spring 2005 & ‘06 from 45 elementary schools in NJ, CT, OH, NM, IA, MA, MI and CA. “Advantaged” students have (by our definition) at least one computer in the home AND are not from single parent households; others are labeled“Disadvantaged.” Advantaged: Asian, N=688; Black, N=1360; Hispanic, N=567; White, N=2650. Disadvantaged: Asian, N=103; Black=944; Hispanic=285; White=337.

  22. Percentages who agree, “I read almost everyday at home.” (“Yes,” instead of “Maybe” or “No.”) (Grades 1-6) Source: Calculations by Ron Ferguson, using Tripod Project data for 1st to 6th graders collected spring 2005 & ‘06 from 45 elementary schools in NJ, CT, OH, NM, IA, MA, MI and CA. “Advantaged” students have (by our definition) at least one computer in the home AND are not from single parent households; others are labeled“Disadvantaged.” Advantaged: Asian, N=688; Black, N=1360; Hispanic, N=567; White, N=2650. Disadvantaged: Asian, N=103; Black=944; Hispanic=285; White=337.

  23. Percentages who agree, “I read almost everyday at home.” (“Yes,” instead of “Maybe” or “No.”) (Grades 1-6) Source: Calculations by Ron Ferguson, using Tripod Project data for 1st to 6th graders collected spring 2005 & ‘06 from 45 elementary schools in NJ, CT, OH, NM, IA, MA, MI and CA. “Advantaged” students have (by our definition) at least one computer in the home AND are not from single parent households; others are labeled“Disadvantaged.” Advantaged: Asian, N=688; Black, N=1360; Hispanic, N=567; White, N=2650. Disadvantaged: Asian, N=103; Black=944; Hispanic=285; White=337.

  24. Within-race median parental responses in 1998 to: How many children’s books does your [kindergarten] child have in your home now, including library books? By mother’s years of schooling. Blacks Whites Mother’s Years of Schooling Source: Presenter’s calculations using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, a US Dept of Education national survey.

  25. At home, I watch television more than I do anything else. (“Yes,” instead of “Maybe” or “No.”) (Grades 1-6) Source: Calculations by Ron Ferguson, using Tripod Project data for 1st to 6th graders collected spring 2005 & ‘06 from 45 elementary schools in NJ, CT, OH, NM, IA, MA, MI and CA. “Advantaged” students have (by our definition) at least one computer in the home AND are not from single parent households; others are labeled“Disadvantaged.” Advantaged: Asian, N=687; Black, N=1355; Hispanic, N=566; White, N=2652. Disadvantaged: Asian, N=104; Black=936; Hispanic=280; White=335.

  26. Percentages who agree, “At home, I watch TV more than I do anything else.” White students, by number of computers at home. (“Yes,” instead of “Maybe” or “No.”) (Grades 1-5) Source: Calculations by Ron Ferguson, using Tripod Project data for 1st to 6th graders collected spring 2005 & ‘06 from 45 elementary schools in NJ, CT, OH, NM, IA, MA, MI and CA. “Advantaged” students have (by our definition) at least one computer in the home AND are not from single parent households; others are labeled“Disadvantaged.” Advantaged: Asian, N=688; Black, N=1360; Hispanic, N=567; White, N=2650. Disadvantaged: Asian, N=103; Black=944; Hispanic=285; White=337.

  27. Percentages who agree, “At home, I watch TV more than I do anything else.” Black students, by number of computers at home. (“Yes,” instead of “Maybe” or “No.”) (Grades 1-5) Source: Calculations by Ron Ferguson, using Tripod Project data for 1st to 6th graders collected spring 2005 & ‘06 from 45 elementary schools in NJ, CT, OH, NM, IA, MA, MI and CA. “Advantaged” students have (by our definition) at least one computer in the home AND are not from single parent households; others are labeled“Disadvantaged.” Advantaged: Asian, N=688; Black, N=1360; Hispanic, N=567; White, N=2650. Disadvantaged: Asian, N=103; Black=944; Hispanic=285; White=337.

  28. Percentages who agree, “At home, I watch TV more than I do anything else.” Hispanic students, by number of computers at home. (“Yes,” instead of “Maybe” or “No.”) (Grades 1-5) Source: Calculations by Ron Ferguson, using Tripod Project data for 1st to 6th graders collected spring 2005 & ‘06 from 45 elementary schools in NJ, CT, OH, NM, IA, MA, MI and CA. “Advantaged” students have (by our definition) at least one computer in the home AND are not from single parent households; others are labeled“Disadvantaged.” Advantaged: Asian, N=688; Black, N=1360; Hispanic, N=567; White, N=2650. Disadvantaged: Asian, N=103; Black=944; Hispanic=285; White=337.

  29. Percentages with computers in their bedrooms. (Grades 1-6) Source: Calculations by Ron Ferguson, using Tripod Project data for 1st to 6th graders collected spring 2005 & ‘06 from 45 elementary schools in NJ, CT, OH, NM, IA, MA, MI and MO. “Advantaged” students have (by our definition) at least one computer in the home AND are not from single parent households; others are labeled“Disadvantaged.” Advantaged: Asian, N=690; Black, N=1362; Hispanic, N=568; White, N=2649. Disadvantaged: Asian, N=103; Black=939; Hispanic=286; White=339.

  30. Percentages with televisions in their bedrooms. (Grades 1-6) Source: Calculations by Ron Ferguson, using Tripod Project data for 1st to 6th graders collected spring 2005 & ‘06 from 45 elementary schools in NJ, CT, OH, NM, IA, MA, MI and CA. “Advantaged” students have (by our definition) at least one computer in the home AND are not from single parent households; others are labeled“Disadvantaged.” Advantaged: Asian, N=693; Black, N=1364; Hispanic, N=570; White, N=2654. Disadvantaged: Asian, N=105; Black=937; Hispanic=285; White=336.

  31. On many days, I get very sleepy at school. (“Yes,” instead of “Maybe” or “No.”) (Grades 1-6) Source: Calculations by Ron Ferguson, using Tripod Project data for 1st to 6th graders collected spring 2005 & ‘06 from 45 elementary schools in NJ, CT, OH, NM, IA, MA, MI and CA. “Advantaged” students have (by our definition) at least one computer in the home AND are not from single parent households; others are labeled“Disadvantaged.” Advantaged: Asian, N=683; Black, N=1341; Hispanic, N=557; White, N=2631. Disadvantaged: Asian, N=103; Black=933; Hispanic=280; White=335.

  32. Sometimes my teacher says that I don’t pay attention like I should. (“Yes,” instead of “Maybe” or “No.”) (Grades 1-6) Source: Calculations by Ron Ferguson, using Tripod Project data for 1st to 6th graders collected spring 2005 & ‘06 from 45 elementary schools in NJ, CT, OH, NM, IA, MA, MI and CA. “Advantaged” students have (by our definition) at least one computer in the home AND are not from single parent households; others are labeled“Disadvantaged.” Advantaged: Asian, N=681; Black, N=1342; Hispanic, N=560; White, N=2619. Disadvantaged: Asian, N=103; Black=933; Hispanic=278; White=329.

  33. Sometimes I get into trouble at school. (“Yes,” instead of “Maybe” or “No.”) (Grades 1-6) Source: Calculations by Ron Ferguson, using Tripod Project data for 1st to 6th graders collected spring 2005 & ‘06 from 45 elementary schools in NJ, CT, OH, NM, IA, MA, MI and CA. “Advantaged” students have (by our definition) at least one computer in the home AND are not from single parent households; others are labeled“Disadvantaged.” Advantaged: Asian, N=687; Black, N=1363; Hispanic, N=568; White, N=2642. Disadvantaged: Asian, N=105; Black=941; Hispanic=287; White=344.

  34. I have done my best quality work in school all year long. (“Yes,” instead of “Maybe” or “No.”) (Grades 1-6) Source: Calculations by Ron Ferguson, using Tripod Project data for 1st to 6th graders collected spring 2005 & ‘06 from 45 elementary schools in NJ, CT, OH, NM, IA, MA, MI and CA. “Advantaged” students have (by our definition) at least one computer in the home AND are not from single parent households; others are labeled“Disadvantaged.” Advantaged: Asian, N=681; Black, N=1344; Hispanic, N=561; White, N=2625. Disadvantaged: Asian, N=101; Black=930; Hispanic=279; White=332.

  35. When I work hard, it is because my teacher tells me I can do well. (“Yes,” instead of “Maybe” or “No.”) (Grades 1-6) Source: Calculations by Ron Ferguson, using Tripod Project data for 1st to 6th graders collected spring 2005 & ‘06 from 45 elementary schools in NJ, CT, OH, NM, IA, MA, MI and CA. “Advantaged” students have (by our definition) at least one computer in the home AND are not from single parent households; others are labeled“Disadvantaged.” Advantaged: Asian, N=679; Black, N=1352; Hispanic, N=566; White, N=2629. Disadvantaged: Asian, N=103; Black=934; Hispanic=284; White=334.

  36. When I work hard, it is because my parents tell me I can do well. (“Yes,” instead of “Maybe” or “No.”) (Grades 1-6) Source: Calculations by Ron Ferguson, using Tripod Project data for 1st to 6th graders collected spring 2005 & ‘06 from 45 elementary schools in NJ, CT, OH, NM, IA, MA, MI and CA. “Advantaged” students have (by our definition) at least one computer in the home AND are not from single parent households; others are labeled“Disadvantaged.” Advantaged: Asian, N=682; Black, N=1343; Hispanic, N=561; White, N=2614. Disadvantaged: Asian, N=103; Black=930; Hispanic=282; White=331.

  37. When I work hard, it is because my teacher makes me do it. (“Yes,” instead of “Maybe” or “No.”) (Grades 1-6) Source: Calculations by Ron Ferguson, using Tripod Project data for 1st to 6th graders collected spring 2005 & ‘06 from 45 elementary schools in NJ, CT, OH, NM, IA, MA, MI and CA. “Advantaged” students have (by our definition) at least one computer in the home AND are not from single parent households; others are labeled“Disadvantaged.” Advantaged: Asian, N=675; Black, N=1346; Hispanic, N=565; White, N=2637. Disadvantaged: Asian, N=104; Black=934; Hispanic=278; White=337.

  38. When I work hard, it is because my parents make me do it. (“Yes,” instead of “Maybe” or “No.”) (Grades 1-6) Source: Calculations by Ron Ferguson, using Tripod Project data for 1st to 6th graders collected spring 2005 & ‘06 from 45 elementary schools in NJ, CT, OH, NM, IA, MA, MI and CA. “Advantaged” students have (by our definition) at least one computer in the home AND are not from single parent households; others are labeled“Disadvantaged.” Advantaged: Asian, N=680; Black, N=1345; Hispanic, N=562; White, N=2620. Disadvantaged: Asian, N=104; Black=930; Hispanic=281; White=333.

  39. Racial differences in Parenting Styles, re: Warmth/Responsiveness/Nurturance Cognitive stimulation Outings with parents Time with mother Parental monitoring Strictness/Demandingness Limited say in rules No arguing about rules Parental involvement/rules re schoolwork Limited adolescent decision making

  40. Reading Scores National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, by Parenting Style From work by Jelani Mandara, Northwestern University.

  41. Percentages in each category National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, by Parenting Style From work by Jelani Mandara, Northwestern University.

  42. Peers • Black and Hispanic students who get the highest grades may suffer a popularity penalty, with fewer peers listing them as friends. • There is some evidence that the popularity penalty may be associated more with the ”racial authenticity” of personal styles among some high achievers (speech styles, music preferences, trusting attitudes) than with their achievement levels or aspirations, per se. • There is opposition to hard work and “nerdy” behavior even among white students and racial differences in this domain appear to be minimal.

  43. “My friends think it’s important to work hard to get high grades.” Males, percentages giving each response, 117 secondary schools across 15 states. Source: Tripod Project surveys of secondary school students. N: Schools=117; Students: White=10184; Black=4114; Hispanic=3871; Asian= 1258. States: AZ, CA, CT, IA, IL, MA, MI, MO, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OR, VA, WI

  44. “My friends think it’s important to work hard to get high grades.” Females, percentages giving each response, 117 secondary schools across 15 states. Source: Tripod Project surveys of secondary school students. N: Schools=117; Students: White=10229; Black=4534; Hispanic=4205; Asian=1244. States: AZ, CA, CT, IA, IL, MA, MI, MO, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OR, VA, WI.

  45. Levels of agreement among black high school students with the statement, “I feel out of place in this class, like I don’t really fit in.” Lines distinguish students for whom people like themselves are “never or usually not accused” of acting white versus “sometimes, usually or always” accused. (z-values)

  46. Levels of agreement among Hispanic high school students with the statement, “I feel out of place in this class, like I don’t really fit in.” Lines show distinguish students for whom people like themselves are “never or usually not accused” of acting white versus “sometimes, usually or always” accused. (z-values)

  47. Levels of agreement among white high school students with the statement, “I feel out of place in this class, like I don’t really fit in.” Lines show distinguish students for whom people like themselves are “never or usually not accused” of acting white versus “sometimes, usually or always” accused. (z-values)

  48. Levels of agreement among black male and female high school students with the statement, “I feel out of place in this class, like I don’t really fit in.” Lines distinguish students for whom people like themselves are “never or usually not accused” of acting white versus “sometimes, usually or always” accused. (z-values)

  49. Considering all black high school students, why some respond that people like themselves “usually” or “always” get accused of acting white, while others say “usually not” or “never.” Percentages attributable to each listed factor.

  50. Percentages of black female high school students agreeing that it is at least somewhat true that, "I sometimes hold back from doing my best in this class, because of what others might say or think." Shown by GPA and by whether students responded "never" to the statement, "At this school, students like me get accused of acting white."