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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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Growth Curve

Growth Curve

Achievement Trajectories and College Pathways

(p.39) 1 Growth Curve
The Anatomy of Achievement Gaps

Jaekyung Lee

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the questions of achievement trajectories in terms of excellence. How much do students learn and develop in the way of academic achievement during the course of P-16 education? What factors influence varied academic growth patterns among students? The analysis of national longitudinal assessment data shows diminishing rates of academic growth in reading and math. The average student’s academic growth curves fall short of new performance standards for college readiness as defined by 2- or 4-year college completion. The comparison of learning environment profiles reveals large gaps between college on-track and off-track student groups in terms of their teachers’ (value-added) performance and expectations for student performance, and moderate gaps in parental involvement and student engagement. Even when students are academically ready for college, many disadvantaged students suffer from college undermatch, which negatively affects their chance of college success and degree completion.

Keywords:   excellence, academic growth, achievement trajectory, college readiness, value-added, performance standards, college undermatch

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