Places of Promise: Learning from Exceptional Districts with Significant Achievement Gap Closure

Awarded Scholars:
Allison Atteberry,University of Colorado
Kendra Bischoff,Cornell University
Ann Owens,University of Southern California
Project Date:
Aug 2018
Award Amount:

Although racial and ethnic educational achievement gaps have declined over time, substantial disparities persist. White fourth graders, for example, scored nearly a standard deviation higher on reading assessments in 2015 than black or Hispanic students. One factor associated with this disparity is differences in the school districts they attend. However, achievement inequalities exist within districts as well. The evidence on the factors associated with racial/ethnic achievement gaps is mixed, with little consensus on which factors are most associated with reductions in disparities.

Professors Allison Atteberry, Kendra Bischoff and Ann Owens will use data from the Stanford Education Data Archive (SEDA) to formulate new hypotheses about potential strategies for reducing racial and ethnic inequalities in educational achievement. They will identify school districts that have made substantial progress in closing racial/ethnic achievement gaps, and explore the potential factors associated with this progress.


RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of original empirical research articles by both established and emerging scholars.


The Russell Sage Foundation offers grants and positions in our Visiting Scholars program for research.


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