OVAE: Office of Vocational and Adult Education
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Fact Sheet Series 2005 - Closing the Achievement Gap Fact Sheet
Archived Information

The OVAE Fact Sheet Series highlights efforts currently underway at the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) to support the principles of the President's No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The principle(s) supported by this effort are:

  • Increase Accountability and Academic Achievement
  • Increase Options and Involvement for Parents and Students
  • Focus on What Works


The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001 launched sweeping changes in federal education policy. NCLB seeks to close the achievement gap between disadvantaged and minority students and their peers. Results are to be realized through access to a standards-driven curriculum taught by qualified teachers in schools that provide students with the supports, such as after-school tutoring, they need to succeed. Schools, under the act, are also held accountable for student performance and must develop a system for assessing progress.


The goal of this project was first to identify schools and then to learn how schools addressed gaps in educational performance for minority students. This OVAE-funded project sought to:
  • Identify states with at least 4 years of disaggregated school-level achievement data in mathematics and/or English/language arts/reading.
  • Identify schools that narrowed the achievement gap between minority and non-minority students.
  • Explore, through focus group research, how schools were able to narrow the achievement gap while maintaining high student retention and graduation rates.

Outcomes and Products

  • Achievement data from the ten states and the District of Columbia that met the state selection criteria were added to data-sets available at National Longitudinal School-Level State Assessment Score Database (NLSLSASD) at http://www.schooldata.org.
  • A brief summarizing the discussions that occurred at the Closing the Achievement Gap Focus Group meeting. Teams from four schools, representing three states, participated in a series of focus groups to explore the specific curricular and instructional practices implemented in the areas of mathematics and English instruction. Closing the Achievement Gap: Lessons From Successful School includes short profiles of each site and outlines key strategies common among the schools.

September 2002 - September 2005


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Last Modified: 08/28/2007