Welcome to the Council of the Great City Schools’ Research Department’s home page. The goal of the Research Department is to conduct, facilitate, and disseminate data that will provide concrete guidance and support to our member districts and other key stakeholders as they work to improve education outcomes and reduce achievement gaps in urban school districts.
Stark achievement gaps along racial and economic lines remain the defining feature of the education system in the United States. In 2009, only 13 percent of Black eighth-graders and 16 percent of Hispanic eighth-graders across the nation scored at or above Proficient on the reading portion of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), compared with 39 percent of their White eighth grade peers. Similarly, while 43 percent of White-eighth graders scored at or above Proficient on the math portion of the NAEP, the same could be said for only 12 and 17 percent of their Black and Hispanic counterparts, respectively.
The Council’s landmark report on Black male achievement, A Call for Change, and its companion Hispanic report, Today’s Promise, Tomorrow’s Future, reminds us that these students – whom, roughly a quarter attends a school in one of the Council’s member districts– continue to face systemic barriers to success and underperform their White peers across every meaningful measure of academic progress. Clearly, our nation’s public education system has failed to educate all students to the same standard.
Shifts in the global economy and advances in technology over the past several decades has underscored the need to prepare our students to remain competitive in the 21st century. Today, the large disparities in reading and math skills experienced between Black, Hispanic, and White Americans in the K-12 education system is a driving force in the economic and educational inequalities these students experience for the rest of their lives. Addressing these “achievement gaps” is therefore fundamental to the creation of a society where a child’s background, creed, or skin color does not dictate their chances of success. To this end, the Council has been a staunch advocate for the effective implementation of Common Core State Standards. It is imperative that all students are college – and career-ready upon graduation from high school.