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The Anatomy of Achievement GapsWhy and How American Education is Losing (but can still Win) the War on Underachievement$
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Jaekyung Lee

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190217648

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190217648.001.0001

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(p.295) 9 Conclusion
The Anatomy of Achievement Gaps

Jaekyung Lee

Oxford University Press

The war on achievement gaps is complex and multidimensional, and America is losing this war on both excellence and equity fronts. Less than half of the nation’s academic growth potential has been realized, with American students’ underachievement largely a consequence of inadequate and inequitable learning opportunities in the public education system. American education must learn from high-performing countries that better achieve excellence and equity through high-quality teachers, equitable school funding, universal preschool, accessible college, and strong community and social equity. However, American schools must avoid the perils of the Asian education model: overstandardized education and high-stakes testing that raise the risk of narrowing educational goals and undermining creativity. The chapter recommends a new vision and new strategies for American public education reform, including a B-P-16 education pledge that guarantees a high school diploma with college and career readiness for all students, followed by options for postsecondary education for qualified students.

Keywords:   excellence, equity, accountability, achievement gap, underachievement, high-stakes testing, education reform, education policy, Asian education, B-P-16 education pledge

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